A new book by an Avondale academic challenges the Anzacs-were-not-religious “myth”.
Associate Professor Daniel Reynaud recently launched his seventh book, Anzac Spirituality, at Avondale College of Higher Education, at Cooranbong.
Mr Reynaud describes our memorialisation of Anzac as a “national schizophrenia.”
We religiously celebrate irreverent secularity “but the widespread refusal to acknowledge any religious component to Anzac history bothers me. We edit out inconvenient elements.”
He explored the diaries and letters of more than 1000 soldiers of the First Australian Imperial Force and found that about one in three Anzacs provided some indication of their attitude toward religion -most of it positive.
Mr Reynaud said the diaries and letters “reveal an interest in matters of the soul more widespread than previously imagined”.
The book is available from the Adventist Book Centre, in Cooranbong, and Koorong Books in Newcastle.