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Open AccessArticle

Decolonizing the Intercultural: A Call for Decolonizing Consciousness in Settler-Colonial Australia

School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Religions 2019, 10(8), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10080469
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 26 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interfaith, Intercultural, International)
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Abstract

Throughout this article I make a case for decolonizing consciousness as a reflexive orientation that reforms the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous life-worlds are navigated and mutually apprehended in a settler colonial context. I consider how through decolonizing dominant habits of thought and action an intercultural dialogue responsive of diverse and mutually informing realities may be cultivated. This article aims to first introduce the key characteristics of ‘decolonizing consciousness’, this being reflexivity, deep listening, and border thinking. Using the Darling River in New South Wales, Australia, as a backdrop, I consider how place and environment are agents and facilitators of a contested intercultural dialogue where Indigenous and non-Indigenous ontologies, epistemologies, and axiologies often come to head. Drawing on fieldwork conducted with Aboriginal residents in far western New South Wales, as well as literature on decolonizing theory and Indigenous knowledge systems from different socio-cultural contexts, I argue that intercultural dialogue begins with reflexive contemplation of how one’s lived experiences is embedded in the realities of others. View Full-Text
Keywords: interculturalism; colonialism; decolonizing theory; indigenous societies; kincentric ecologies; border thinking; reflexivity; decolonizing consciousness interculturalism; colonialism; decolonizing theory; indigenous societies; kincentric ecologies; border thinking; reflexivity; decolonizing consciousness
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Bradfield, A. Decolonizing the Intercultural: A Call for Decolonizing Consciousness in Settler-Colonial Australia. Religions 2019, 10, 469.

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