You may have heard Amanda Lohrey interviewed on 810 (Radio Nation) the other day on her recent essay “Voting for Jesus – Christianity and Politics in Australia”.
I Bought a copy of the essay (Quarterly Essay) on Thursday.
Gold pure gold!
Seriously, I just finished it tonight after coming home from a 24 hour retreat at Mandurah with some of the Youth Vision crew. (got to drive Fongy’s new 100 series! What a drive!)
I will be quoting a bit from this insightful piece of work. She would not call herself a Christian, but certainly acknowledges the work of the Spirit in her own life and the lives of others, she also has a favorable view toward Christ.
She opens the essay with an interview with 3 15 year old girls from Hillsong Youth and closes with an interview with 3 Evangelical Union students from a universtity. Both interviews leave you feeling that she is on your side, but the stuff in between…well she certainly works you! It is very a good and I would suggest a read for people serious about knowing the view from the ‘otherside’!
From the back cover –
From the Hillsong Church to the Family First Party, Australia appears to be experiencing an evangelical revival. In the second Quarterly Essay for 2006, Amanda Lohrey investigates that revival – its shape and scope, and what it means for the mainstream churches and the nation’s politics. She talks to young believers and analyses the machinations of the Christian Right. She discusses, with humour and insight, the appeal of the megachurch, the changing image of Jesus and the political theories of George Pell and Peter Jensen.
Voting for Jesus is also an essay about the use and abuse of religion in party politics. Examining the success of Family First, Lohrey argues that Christians in politics have far less influence than they would like – the government uses them when convenient and otherwise disregards them. Blending individual interviews with political argument, she makes a subtle case for the blessings of secularism and the variety of spiritual encounters it makes possible.
Some further discussion here
PS – Some people have asked me where to buy the Quarterly Essay. I have found that even the best of news agents don’t hold it. But Bookshops tend todo so. I bought mine from Oxford books in Leederville, Perth. It’s a kind of boutique bookshop, not a mainline like Dymocks, but they might have it. Published by Griffin Press.
Oh and if you want mine, I promised it to Hamo first.