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

Rolls, M ORCID: 0000-0003-4198-3771 2000 , 'A Reply to David Tacey's What Are We Afraid of?: Intellectualism, Aboriginality, and the Sacred' , Melbourne Journal of Politics, vol. 26 , pp. 149-152 .

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In responding 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
Authors/Creators:Rolls, M
Journal or Publication Title: Melbourne Journal of Politics
ISSN: 00853224
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