Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

Australian literature questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  07 November 2019

Read Mysticism in Australian literature and take part in the following questions and activities.


  • Do you agree with Elaine Lindsay’s definition of mysticism?
  • What does it mean that the desert is ‘the crucial point of revelation for our culture’?
  • What does the article say about women’s forms of spirituality differing from men’s? Do you agree with that? Why?


Imaginative exercise: Choose a character from an Australian book that you’ve read. Imagine a conversation between that character and Jesus. What would they ask Jesus? How might Jesus respond? What would their reaction be to Jesus’ words?

Book analysis: Choose a book by one of the authors mentioned by Elaine Lindsay. Read and report back to the class either by a written review or in a book group discussion your thoughts on how the book explores religion and/or spirituality. Consider: Are there any religious characters in the book? If so, how are they portrayed? Are there any 'spiritual' moments in the book – times when characters experience something beyond everyday experience, something mystical, in their life? Where do those moments take place (e.g. in nature, in public spaces, at home)? What does this book tell you about how Australians experience God?


Read or summarise Mysticism in Australian literature and discuss with the class how books they may have read may have deeper meanings and symbolism.

  1. Have the students illustrate a scene from a favourite book that holds meaning for them.

  2. Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1-12). Have the students think about the meanings behind Jesus’ words (the Beatitudes). Explain they will make Beatitude prayers or poems that acrostics, using a key word from one Beatitude. They will up a word or phrase from each letter of the Beatitude word. Have them print and decorate their work on construction paper. For example:

Open to God
Open to others

Please help me
Enjoy others
And see the good they
Can bring to life.
Even when I am
Moody or
Keep me calm
Enough to
Remember your law of love and
Serve others by bringing peace.


Request permissions to reuse this article

Interested in more? Sign up to our weekly Catholic Teacher and Parish Life e-newsletters for the faith formation resources you need.

Catholic Teacher sign-up

Parish Life sign-up

This website uses cookies to give you the best, most relevant experience.

Using this website means you are okay with this.

You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link