Engaging with Aboriginal peoples: Challenging inequality in the rural Australian Anglican Church from a sociological, social work and theological perspective

Karen Kime, Monica Short

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Abstract

Nearly two thirds of Indigenous Australians reside outside capital cities. Several Anglican Churches inrural, regional and remote locations strive to engage with Aboriginal communities. A number of Aboriginal peopleare active and vibrant members of the Anglican Communion, faithfully ministering and sharing the Christianmessage. Two members of the Anglican Church, one Indigenous and one non-Indigenous, via a co-operativeinquiry, explored the question: how do the inquirers perceive the Anglican Church engages with Aboriginalpeoples in rural, regional and remote Australia? From a sociological lens this inquiry explored the impact ofongoing colonisation on church praxis. It challenged the rural Anglican Church to be courageous and proactive inrole modelling for the world-wide church engagements with Aboriginal people that affirm Australian Indigenousculture, pastors and leaders’ ministries. It outlined from a social work perspective the importance of advocatingfor justice such as fair wages paid in full. From a theological lens the inquiry discussed equality and formation forrural Anglican ministry. The discussion drew upon rural-themed Christian parables, in particular the parable ofthe sower, as well as faith expressed in action. This inquiry argued for the building of just relationships that areChrist-honouring, led by the Holy Spirit and person-loving. It upheld the reality that all Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are equal image bearers of God and are to be respected and have inherent dignity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalAustralasian Pentecostal Studies
Volume20
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2019

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