The Bible in Australia: A cultural history
Meredith Lake


Paperback | Apr 2018 | NewSouth | 9781742235714 | 336pp | 234x153mm | Forthcoming | GEN | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99


The revelatory story of the Bible in Australia, from the convict era to the Mabo land rights campaign, Nick Cave, the Bra Boys, and beyond. Thought to be everything from the word of God to a resented imposition, the Bible has been debated, painted, rejected, translated, read, gossiped about, preached, and tattooed.

At a time when public discussion of religion is deeply polarised, Meredith Lake reveals the Bible’s dynamic influence in Australia and offers an innovative new perspective on Christianity and its changing role in our society. In the hands of writers, artists, wowsers, Bible-bashers, immigrants, suffragists, evangelists, unionists, Indigenous activists, and many more – the Bible has played a defining and contested role in Australia. 

A must-read for sceptics, the curious, the lapsed, the devout, the believer, and non-believer.


"Vivid story-telling and impossible to put down. Meredith Lake brings the Bible’s chameleon-like presence in Australia’s past alive. At last, this long-neglected yet profoundly important aspect of Australian history has found its true historian. A remarkable achievement." – Mark McKenna 

"From the opening words about Bra Boy tattoos, this book  had me gripped. It breathes colour, poetry and life into our understanding of the Bible in Australia. A vital, much-needed addition to our understanding of faith in our country."  Julia Baird