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A Reply to David Tacey's What Are We Afraid of?: Intellectualism, Aboriginality, and the Sacred

Rolls, M (2000) A Reply to David Tacey's What Are We Afraid of?: Intellectualism, Aboriginality, and the Sacred. Melbourne Journal of Politics, 26. pp. 149-152. ISSN 00853224

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Abstract

In respondin~ to my essay' critically examining his book Edge of theSacred , David Tacey rejects my criticism that he is imposing "alien" archetypal structures upon Aboriginal culture on the grounds that "the claim of archetypal theory is that it posits a universalising discourse in which no culture or time is alien to its theoretical structures"." Well, precisely. This just seems to restate my argument that Aborigines are yet again being subjected to a belief system (Faith? Ideology? Theory? Call it what you will) that is not of their making. Furthermore, it posits a theoretical structure that often provides interpretations of cultural practices and beliefs that differ markedly from Aboriginal explanations of the same matters. As I claim in my essay, this leads to the situation where nonAboriginal 'experts' are needed to explain to Aborigines the 'real' nature of their own beliefs and psyches. Archetypal theory is just another attempt to ensnare Aborigines within a universalising discourse, as Tacey makes explicit in his opening rejection of my argument. Tacey steps beyond my analysis of his text in an endeavour to sweep me into what he sees as the leftist denial of spirituality and/or sacredness. It should not be necessary to explain that to query where and how Tacey quests for the sacred is not the same thing as rejecting spirituality, but Tacey does equate these two separate issues. Readers should note that nowhere in my

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Melbourne Journal of Politics
Page Range: pp. 149-152
ISSN: 00853224
Date Deposited: 04 May 2008 23:47
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2008 16:58
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/3649
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