Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 23, No 1 (2010)

Anglican Imperialism and the Gothic Style in Australia

Hilary M. Carey
Issued Date: 13 Jun 2010


This paper provides an analysis of the Gothic style as applied to church architecture in Australia. Although previous studies of the Gothic in the antipodes have stressed the extent to which Gothic was embraced for the construction of much of the civic infrastructure of Australia's eastern cities in the nineteenth century, less has been said about the implications of this for religious history. It is argued that the decision to build in Gothic or Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches is a reflection of moves to assimilate colonial religion to imperial nationalism. A contrast is made with building practice in Ireland, where Gothic was associated with Norman, and more recent English appropriation of native religion and tradition as part of the colonial process. Consideration is made of the museum of St David's Anglican cathedral, Hobart, as well as churches constructed in the Gothic style in Newcastle, NSW and elsewhere in Australia.

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DOI: 10.1558/arsr.v23i1.6


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