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Babylon, the Bible and the Australian Aborigines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChosen Peoples
Subtitle of host publicationThe Bible, Race, and Nation in the Long Nineteenth Century
EditorsGareth Atkins, Shinjini Das, Brian Murray
Place of PublicationManchester
Publisher or commissioning bodyManchester University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781526143068
ISBN (Print)9781526143044
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Imperialism
PublisherManchester University Press


This chapter provides an analysis of the racial and linguistic theories of Dr John Fraser (1834-1904), a Scottish-born schoolmaster from Maitland New South Wales. Fraser's writing on the Australian Aborigines is a good example of the way Biblical theories of race, language and descent were expounded in the southern British colonies and Oceania. These lands included Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Oceania, regions which had been mapped during James Cook's voyages of exploration in the 18th century and were swiftly infiltrated by British colonial forces including their dynamic, mostly Protestant missionary societies. This chapter will seek to place the particular views of John Fraser within this wider frame, analysing the contemporary and more recent reception of Biblical narratives of race, language and migration in the southern world.

    Research areas

  • Australian Aborigines, John Fraser, missionary linguistics, Race, LANGUAGE



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