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Book Chapter

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Publication Details

This book chapter was originally published as:

Reynaud, D., & Fernandez, J. (2014). To thrash the offending Adam out of them: The theology of violence in the writings of Great War Anzacs. In C.Hartney (Ed.), Secularisation: New historical perspectives (pp.134-150). Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars.

ISBN: 9781443856621


210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)| 220210 History of Philosophy

Avondale Research Centre

Spirituality and Worship Research Centre

Reportable Items



The Anzac legend is often acclaimed as Australia’s unifying secular faith. However, there are significant connections between Christianity and Anzac. While the responses of the churches at home during the Great War have been well studied, this chapter examines the variety of the responses of Christian soldiers and chaplains at the front. In this context, this study engages Girard’s theory of sacralised violence as a framework for defining and critiquing religious responses to the war of fighting men. Was the war a crusade, a civilising mission, a just war, a necessary evil or something other?


Used by permission: Daniel Reynaud and Jane Fernandez

© 2014 Daniel Reynaud and Jane Fernandez

The book may be accessed from the publisher here.

Staff and students of Avondale College may access Secularisation: New historical perspectives from the Avondale College Library (211.609 H25).