PROFESSOR MARION MADDOX
Religion and Politics: How Powerful is the Christian Right?
13 March 3.30-5pm
Hosted in the Auchmuty Library’s Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle.
Tea, coffee and nibbles provided from 3.30pm for a 3.45 start finishing by 5pm.
A number of recent articles have argued that the Australian Christian right’s political influence has been overstated, pointing to the failure of signature reforms and lack of electoral pulling-power. I respond that such analyses misconstrue the kind of pressure group politics in which Australia’s Christian right engages and the purpose for which it raises iconic issues. I then draw a comparison with the way in which similar arguments have been made about the US Christian right, usually when it appeared to have reached a low ebb and often predicting its imminent demise, only to herald a resurgence. Where Australia’s Christian right is often treated as a recent phenomenon, it, like its US counterpart, rewards a long-view analysis.