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Australian Aboriginal Spirituality.

             *The Nature of Aboriginal Spirituality:.
             _ an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person:.
             _ who identifies self as an Aboriginal.
             _ accepted by the Indigenous community by which he/she lives.
             _ physical appearance and lifestyle are irrelevant in this definition.
             _ pre-European arrival: pop. 650,000 (600 groups).
             _ current pop.: 250,000.
             _ groups:.
             _ traditional.
             _ urban (just under half of present population).
             _ there are similarities in the beliefs of different tribes.
             _ spiritual dimension of the land.
             _ present life is continuous with the Dreaming.
             _ totemistic: animals/plants have associated symbols.
             _ naturalistic: living off the land.
             _ tied to the land: each group has a particular relationship with a particular piece of land.
             _ The Dreaming as being fundamental to Aboriginal Culture and Societies.
             _ 5 distinct features of Aboriginal Spirituality:.
             Spiritual " spirits are natural to the world.
             _ each person has an inviolable spirit which is intimately related to the spirit ancestor.
             Historical " life today is historically continuous with the Dreaming.
             _ spiritual links with spiritual ancestors tied to definite sites in the land.
             Totemisic " religious life is arranged through definite religious groups.
             _ each group has a natural plant or animal species as its name symbol or totem.
             _ each group is derived from a spirit ancestor who is symbolic of the group"s totem.
             Naturalistic " religion concerned with life revolving around living off the land.
             _ social relationships between people.
             Tied to the Land " totemic groups are tied to certain tracts of land and sacred sites.
             _ land represents personal identity and religious belief.
             _ The Dreaming:.
             _ refers to all that is known and understood by Aboriginal people.
             _ central to the existence of traditional Aboriginal lifestyle and culture.
             _ determines values and beliefs.
             _ determines relationship with every living creature and feature of the land.
             _ explains creation.
             _ tells the journeys of the Spirit Ancestors who made the world and whose spirits inhabit the features.

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