The Axial Age And Religion In Australia Today

In my book, Charting the Trends in Australian
Religion: 30 Years in the Christian Research
Association (Hughes, 2016), I suggested that
we may be moving into a second axial age.
In an interview following the release of the
book, I was asked what I meant by that. I
had in mind the huge change in the nature
of faith in Australia that has occurred since
the 1960s: from something that is dominated
by religious institutions to a much more
personal spirituality, owned and developed by
individuals. However, the question motivated
me to look more closely at the development
and nature of the Axial Age and what might be
corresponding changes today. One of the books
that proved very helpful in those reflections was
the collection of essays edited by Robert Bellah
and Hans Joas (2012), The Axial Age and Its
Consequences. I have referred to many of the
essays in this monograph.

Philip Hughes 2019

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