Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

‘A pretty decent sort of bloke’: Towards the quest for an Australian Jesus

Jason A. Goroncy
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5545 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5545 | © 2019 Jason A. Goroncy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 2019 | Published: 31 October 2019

About the author(s)

Jason A. Goroncy, Department of Systematic Theology, Whitley College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia; and, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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From many Aboriginal elders, such as Tjangika Napaltjani, Bob Williams and Djiniyini Gondarra, to painters, such as Arthur Boyd, Pro Hart and John Forrester-Clack, from historians, such as Manning Clark, and poets, such as Maureen Watson, Francis Webb and Henry Lawson, to celebrated novelists, such as Joseph Furphy, Patrick White and Tim Winton, the figure of Jesus has occupied an endearing and idiosyncratic place in the Australian imagination. It is evidence enough that ‘Australians have been anticlerical and antichurch, but rarely antiJesus’ (Piggin 2000:163). But which Jesus? In what follows, I seek to listen to what some Australians make of Jesus, and to consider some theological implications of their contributions for the enduring quest for an Australian Jesus.


Aboriginal Australians; art; Australia; Christology; culture; Jesus; land; myth; religion; symbols


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