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Theme 2 - Aboriginal Thought Systems

Virtually no effort has been in the past devoted to understanding the status, integrity and merits of Aboriginal philosophy and religion. Everyone has heard of the concept of ‘The Dreaming’, but practically nobody knows what this actually means. It rates no mention whatsoever in the Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Based on his decades of discussion with tribal people such as Donald Murrawilli and Elders such as Uncle Reg Blow, Jim offers some insights into the complex and sophisticated Aboriginal thought systems.


  1. If everyone on Earth died tomorrow, would the universe continue to exist without anyone to know it?

  2. What difference is there between the Big Bang theory, the biblical story of creation and the First Dreaming of fire?

  3. If a child makes a birthday card to give you, does it become more than just a card?

AH 2.1

An analysis of Aboriginal philosophy

Rather than dismissing Aboriginal thought systems as ‘animist’, a more thorough metaphysical analysis is undertaken.

AH 2.2

Understanding the Dreaming

The concept of the Dreaming as a constructivist religious theory is explained.

AH 2.3

The basic tenets of Wandjinist religion

Aboriginal religious thought is given the label of Wandjinism, with the basic tenets being sequentially laid out.

AH 2.4

The environment as a living entity

Rather than being seen in objectivist terms, Aboriginal people see the environment in spiritually interactive terms.

AH 2.5

Sorry Time

The role of ritual grieving in lifting the Earthly sorrows of the dead and sharing it amongst the living, is explained.

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