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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 The Cultic Milieu in Australia : Deviant Religiosity in the Novels of Carmel Bird
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'Carmel Bird’s (b. 1940) Mandala Trilogy comprises three studies of what the English sociologist Colin Campbell termed the “cultic milieu”.2 For Bird, this is a subculture of alternative (or “deviant”) religiosity, in which the vulnerable are caught up in the snares and delusions of charismatic leaders. The White Garden (1995) introduces the amoral psychiatrist, Dr Ambrose Goddard, who medically and sexually abuses patients at Mandala Psychiatric Clinic, a virtual prison over which he (as his name suggests) is “God”.3 In Red Shoes (1998) Petra Penfold-Knight is the leader of the Hill House Brethren, a “cult” that kidnaps patients from Mandala and steals the babies of unmarried mothers, and in which members are dressed identically and wear red shoes. Cape Grimm (2004) is the tale of Caleb Mean who, raised from infancy to understand himself as the second coming of Christ, incinerates his community of one hundred and forty-seven religious followers (most of whom are his relatives) in remote north-west Tasmania on his thirty-third birthday. The novels tease out connections between psychiatry and what are popularly termed “cults”, and psychiatrists and the charismatic leaders of deviant religious groups. This chapter examines the Mandala Trilogy using social scientific models from the study of new religious movements (NRMs), including American sociologists of religion Rodney Stark and William Simms Bainbridge’s three classic models of “cult formation” (psychopathology, entrepreneurship, and subcultural evolution) to illuminate the portrayal of charismatic leaders, Stanley Cohen’s notion of “moral panic” to interpret Bird’s identification of fringe religion with criminal behaviour, drug-taking, sexual deviance, and irrational beliefs, and Campbell’s “cultic milieu”, mentioned above, to clarify the teachings of the charismatic leaders, and the existence of a group in society that is primed to follow such leaders, and to join such movements.' (Introduction)

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    y separately published work icon The Free Mind : Essays and Poems in Honour of Barry Spurr Catherine Runcie (editor), Revesby : Edwin H. Lowe Publishing , 2016 10728339 2016 anthology poetry essay

    'For over forty years, Barry Spurr has created a significant body of work in English literary scholarship, spanning a wide range of fields from Early Modern literature to contemporary Australian poetry. Barry Spurr is acknowledged as a leading scholar in the fields of religious literature and liturgical language, most notably in the works of Renaissance poet John Donne, the Modernist poet T.S. Eliot, and the language and literature of the Anglo-Catholic tradition. He was appointed by the University of Sydney as Australia's first Professor of Poetry and Poetics, and holds a notable reputation as a teacher and mentor to students, and as a friend to peers and colleagues. He has also been notable as a public intellectual, with a particular interest in the role of literature in the modern education system, and the role of the humanities in the modern university.

    'This book is a collection of scholarly papers, contemplative essays and poems, written or contributed in honour of Barry Spurr. The Festschrift's contributors include his former teachers and mentors, his students and colleagues, and includes scholars and public intellectuals in his fields of scholarship or public interest. This Festschrift is a very fine collection of poetry, public discourse and literary criticism, on topics ranging from the works of William Shakespeare, to John Milton, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, and Wilfred Owen, in addition to scholarship on liturgical language and religious and literary philosophy.' (Publication summary)

    Revesby : Edwin H. Lowe Publishing , 2016
Last amended 15 Feb 2017 10:44:20
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