Essay on SOR1 NOTES

Submitted By Stephanie-Poulos
Words: 7119
Pages: 29

Topic One:
Religion and Belief Systems in Australia post-1945

Contemporary Aboriginal Spiritualities
Aboriginal spirituality as determined by the Dreaming
Aboriginal spirituality as determined by the Dreaming
Fundamental to Ab. Spirituality. ↝ the Dreaming involves all knowledge and understanding in Aboriginal societies, and hence incorporates all beliefs and practices of Aboriginal communities.
Encompasses physical and spiritual aspects of Ab. Life.
Symbolic of creation phase- believe land created in present shape by journeys of ancestor spirits.
Dreaming is LAW- governs Ab. behaviour, sets out structure for society, rules for moral actions, instructions for religious ceremonies/rituals etc.
Acts as guide for Ab. Person throughout life.
Concept of time is cyclical, not linear- meaning dreaming is past, present and future.
origins of the universe & inextricably connected to the land
Transcendent: ultimate reality is beyond the limits of the physical earth
Immanent: reality resides in the sacred places and the stores of ‘my country’
In an Aboriginal way of being, everything is connected; land, people and spirit. ‘Country’ is a word used to describe an area of land in which a number of Aboriginal families live
The Dreaming is reflected by the whole environment. Humans are unified with the environment.
Dreaming is embedded in all aspects of Aboriginal life.

Aboriginal spirituality and its inextricable connection with the land
Kinship
system of belonging and responsibilities within a clan
Significance: Kinship ties also assign the responsibility to transmit the knowledge of the Dreaming from elders to the younger generation. People are initiated into the Dreaming by different degrees according to their age and position in the community. This process of learning the Dreaming is a life long pursuit.
Obligations to the land and people
Land is the physical medium through which the Dreaming is lived and communicated.
Dwelling place for ancestral spirit beings.
Identity & acknowledgement of the traditional owners

Sacred sites
Sacred sites or ritual estate have a special significance connected with particular events in the Dreaming. Aboriginal people have special ritual responsibilities to take care of, and to learn from these sacred sites which are off-limits and hidden from the non-initiated.
Stories
The Dreaming is primarily expressed through stories
Way of teaching Aboriginal children about right and wrong behaviour in society.
Rituals
Reliving of the story in a powerfully sacred way.
Totems
Totems are the embodiment of each individual in his or her primordial state
Ceremonial responsibilities commonly known as balance rites.

Issues for Aboriginal spiritualities in relation to
POLICY OF ASSIMILATION
· “half caste” assimilates them into the white community
· forget their cultural identity
· Separation of Aboriginal children from families
· Prohibition of traditional Aboriginal practices
· Ban on the use of traditional Aboriginal languages
STOLEN GENERATION
· Aboriginal children who were removed from their homes between 1900 and 1972 by the Government and church missionaries in an attempt to assimilate these children into White Australian society
· Aboriginal race could be bred out of existence.
· Maltreatment, sexual exploitation and humiliation severing Aboriginal children's ties with the Dreaming. The removal of these children from their traditional lands means that they could no longer learn or fulfil their ritual responsibilities

The effect of dispossession: separation from the land, separation from Kinship groups and Stolen Generation
The impact of dispossession for Aboriginal people has been enormous and overwhelmingly detrimental
Government policies of protection and assimilation are the dark episodes of the Stolen Generation.
Separation from land
Loss of identity
Ever-present burden of not being able to fulfil ritual responsibilities. Separation from kinship groups, results in…