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Question 3:

In pre-modern times, religion was central to social life. Discuss the role of religion in contemporary Australia.

Religion is an ancient institution that has existed in all societies. The pre-modern society was a time characterized with no class differences and individuals shared the same values whereby an individual’s purpose was demonstrated through faith. God was believed to be the primary entity in a person’s life. Therefore, it manifest that social life during the pre-modern era the society held religion as a central value. Religion concerns human beings shared values, practices and beliefs across different societies. Faith is a central concept in all religions and serves to bind humans to their different foundations and preserve their values in life through the belief in a high power or God. However, some religions do not have God such as Buddhism but Christianity and Islam believe in God. The Australian High Court defines religion as “a complex of beliefs and practices which point to a set of values and an understanding of the meaning of existence” (The Australian Collaboration, 2011).

The rise of modernization and globalization lead to transition in social attitudes in the society making the society take a new form. The pre-modern society therefore experienced improved interactions developing different groups globally. Interactions between people within the society were increasingly similar making the world a small global village. The manner in which religion was viewed, interpreted and delivered to people also changed greatly (Cahill, Bouma, Dellal & Leahy, 2012). Australia has had a significant for the last 50 years in the population that ascribes to a specific religion. Historically, the religious nature of Australians has been questioned of the years. However, the contemporary Australia is characterized with a religious culture, religious language and other religious aspects. For instance, most schools have foundations based on religion where religious organizations run them. Most leaders in the religious realm in Australia are always in the media in their pursuit to hold the government accountable on issues that fail to meet religious standards. Most people in contemporary Australia have a religious affiliation to a particular faith as evidence by religious activities through church attendance among other religious functions. Indeed, the Indigenous Australians such as the Aboriginals and Torres Islander are central to the study of religion despite their marginalization for a considerable amount of time. The Indigenous Australians culture has continually challenged the separation of sacred from secular, the physical from what is spiritual, and the supernatural from the social.

The contemporary Australia believes and is affiliated to some religious beliefs despite the wide array of ritual activities. Some Australians attend church services, synagogue, temple and the mosque in search of a sense of belonging. The Australian culture has also seen artistic arenas and other aspects of culture such as literature, art, and music among others takes a religious inclination. Religion has been pluralized among the different faiths and has grown recently with most people embracing different faiths and recognizing the presence of a supreme being. Australia has a guiding principle with respect to religion that emphasis equal treatment or what is commonly known as state of neutrality when handling churches and other religious institution (Hackett, Coperman & Ritchey, 2015).

While religious diverse qualities in Australia are far more extensive than just Christianity and Islam, these religions have been at the heart of latest civil arguments about multiculturalism. The civil argument has expanded into a genuinely lively contention about Australian qualities and the interest that Muslim schools specifically be policed to guarantee they are serving up the admission requested by the more populist fanatics and conservative government officials. Indeed, one government official requested that the hijab be prohibited in state funded schools, an interest that was rejected by traditionalist leaders (Bouma, 2006). However, this was not without supported focus of Islamic schools as based on non Australian qualities. Additionally, inter- religious associations, for example, those between imams, clerics and rabbis to develop bridges between school learners of the other beliefs, and activities by youthful westernized Muslims as well as to separate themselves from terror cases, propose a few zones of self-ruling group movement are proving to be fruitful. However, the national talk progressively adjusts multiculturalism to Muslim fundamentalism, and proposes always inflexible meanings of worthy conduct and values.

In conclusion, the contemporary Australia is undoubtedly religious and religious beliefs and values have a place in this nation. The larger Australian communities indicate that religion has moved once again into the mainstream of the political stream, regardless of the possibility that the urban elites discover it distracting and perhaps pre-advanced. Religion has turned into the primary question for Australian multiculturalism, the issue most laden with different beliefs and values as an indicator of religious affiliation to a particular faith. The contemporary Australia is therefore more religious conscious and ready to allow believers exercise their faith despite the secularization that has traditional characterized Australia in addition to a culture that is deep rooted to its people especially the indigenous communities. Religion is thus an increased awareness of the deity, divine or supernatural towards moral truth.


Bouma, G. D., 2006. Australian soul: religion and spirituality in the twenty-first century. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.

Cahill, D., Bouma, G., Dellal, H., & Leahy, M., 2012. Religion, Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding Australia. Retrieved from

Hackett, C., Coperman, A. Ritchey, K. 2015. The future of the World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050. Retrieved from

The Australian Collaboration, 2011. Religion in Australia. Retrieved from