The Lamb Enters the Dreaming discusses the work of Moravian missionaries in Victoria in the mid 1800s. It reveals a great deal about the moral forces at work and Kenny challenges a number of sacred cows in this reconsideration about how Indigenous people and European settler society perceived each other.
Kenny suggests that it is Darwin not Christianity that has most to blame for the mindset of settler colonies in relation to Indigenous people. He outlines how social Darwinism and scientific racism was the basis of a policy in which governments became bent on the control and assimilation of Aboriginal people.
In contrast, the Moravians believed Aboriginal people were equally capable, alongside anyone, of striding to the highest level of acceptance and culture and faith. Kenny argues that missionaries were the most compassionate supporters for Indigenous people in early colonial Victoria.
He also suggests how Aboriginal people may have perceived the strange sheep, horses and cattle that entered their land. This is an intriguing discussion that warrants further consideration for thoughtful readers.
This volume that has got some very respectable reviews in mainstream and academic press; it warrants attention from anyone interested in Christian missions and their context in 19th century Australia.