Conflict or Synthesis?

At the Indigenous Hospitality House last night we were looking at a Boon Wurrung story about Bunjil, the Kulin creator spirit, and talking about the idea of the Christian God as creator spirit. I was thinking about my experience growing up of knowing a whole lot of different creation stories, but not really having a lot of problems with that. I had a big children’s Bible with the stories of creation from Genesis. I was really into dinosaurs, so I had a lot of books about dinosaurs, some of which had the story of evolution. I also had picture books with Aboriginal creation stories in them. And I had a book of African folktales, in which the Creator was portrayed as the face of an African man appearing in stormy clouds.

In year 11 or 12 we had to read Frank McCourt’s childhood memoir Angela’s Ashes. In the book he talks about asking an adult about whether the Biblical was true or whether the theory of evolution was true. The adult responded saying that it was possible for both of them to be true. McCourt came to the conclusion that this answer was ridiculous.

When I was a child, in Sunday school, I can remember doing a lesson on creation. The teacher told us all to draw the things that God created on each of the seven days of creation. Instead of following the account in Genesis I depicted the different stages of evolution as I understood it. The teach said I was doing it wrong, but I didn’t have any problems with putting these two stories together.

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