I got talking to Graham Ward at the ANZATS conference the other day, and he commented that although he has been to Australia several times, he has not got any sense of what a distinctively Australian theology might look like. My reply was that we are a nation of losers. (Present readership excluded of course – but not present authorship.)
We were founded on a lie (of an empty country); we came of age in a tremendous defeat (at Gallipoli in WWI); our ‘national anthem’ speaks of a cycle of disillusioned brokenness (Khe Sanh); our national movie tells of a family of boneheads (The Castle) – and yet in each of these things we pause to find some poignant significance, something worthy of celebration, despite appearances.
Perhaps then, those of us who are Australians in this field should not try so hard to cover the shame of our isolation and inability to compete with European culture, and find something to offer in this distinctively Australian celebration of the isolated misfit. After all, we follow one who was crucified outside the city gates.