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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Desert books

By Ian Robinson March 2005

Title in bold is the place to start. Where a book has #, it denotes an explicitly Christian viewpoint, for those who want to start from there.

1. Explorers and Travellers
Shephard, Mark. (1999). THE SIMPSON DESERT. Richmond SA, Corkwood Press. A superb survey of the Simpson including black and white history, environment and how to travel.

Beadell, Len. (1976). BEATING AROUND THE BUSH. Adelaide, Rigby.
One of Len Beadell’s series about making the “Bomb Roads” with the Gunbarrel Road Construction Party during the 50’s and 60’s. There are other similar books.

Brock, Daniel. G. (1975). TO THE DESERT WITH STURT- a Diary of the 1844 Expedition. Adelaide, Royal Geographical Society of Australasia. #
Daniel Brock, a Methodist, was not named in Sturt’s journals of this expedition, so low in the hierarchy was he. This journal he kept for his mother.

Kelly, Kieran. (2003). TANAMI - on Foot Across Australia's Desert Heart. Sydney, Macmillan.
A Sydney stockbroker’s personal struggle across the Tanami Desert, to walk where no white man had ever walked.

Peasley, W. J. (1983). THE LAST OF THE NOMADS. Fremantle Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press.
An account of the rescue of the last two nomads to leave the western deserts in 1977.

Rothwell, Nicholas. ( 2003). WINGS OF THE KITE HAWK. Sydney, Picador.
A famous Australian journalist writes on many levels about his experiences in Inland Australia, including explorers, great characters, sense of place and spirituality

Williams, Diana. (2001). HORIZON IS WHERE HEAVEN AND EARTH MEET. Sydney, Bantam Press, Random House Publishers. #
An autobiography, from her career in New York banking to her long and happy marriage with Ron Williams, an aboriginal elder and evangelist.

2. Artists and Sense of Place
Haynes, Rosslyn. D. (1998). SEEKING THE CENTRE. Cambridge and Melbourne, Cambridge University Press. A cultural history about attitudes to the desert, with extensive coverage of explorers, artists, writers and film.

Cameron, John. (Ed) (2003). CHANGING PLACES – Re-imagining Australia. Sydney, Longueville Books.
Fascinating collections of writers explore what it means to have a sense of place.

Malouf, David. (1998). A SPIRIT OF PLAY - the Making of Australian Consciousness. Sydney, ABC Books. The 1998 Boyer Lectures by this famous author from both Queensland and Lebanon heritage.

3. Theological Thinkers
Brown, Cavan. (1991). PILGRIM THROUGH THIS BARREN LAND. Sutherland, NSW, Albatross. # Brown served as a patrol minister in the Pilbara for seven years.

RAINBOW SPIRIT THEOLOGY: towards an Australian Aboriginal theology Publisher: Blackburn, Vic.: HarperCollinsReligious, 1997 #
A group of elders reflect on the meeting point of Christian and aboriginal spirituality.

Lane, Belden. C. (1998). THE SOLACE OF FIERCE LANDSCAPES - exploring desert and mountain spirituality. New York, Oxford University Press. #
Both personal and scholarly, Lane writes elegantly of desert spirituality in general from the North American context.

4. Spirituality
Stockton, Eugene. D. (1998). WONDER: A Way To God. Australia, St Pauls Publications, Society of St Paul.# The third in series, a sheer delight to read.

Kohn, Rachael. (2003). THE NEW BELIEVERS - Re-imagining God. Sydney, HarperCollins Publishers. An ABC broadcaster, Kohn surveys several major trends in spiritual issues in Australia. Well researched and critically appraised.

Tacey, David. J. (1995). EDGE OF THE SACRED. East Melbourne, HarperCollins.
A lecturer in English from La Trobe University, this text has raised many questions about secular and transcendent, religion and spirituality.

Williams, Rowan. (2003). SILENCE AND HONEY CAKES - The Wisdom Of The Desert. Oxford, Lion Publishing. # Now Archbishop of Canterbury, Williams brings to life the classic Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 4-5th century.

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