Professor Carole Cusack
+61 2 9351 6837
Carole M. Cusack received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Religious Studies and English Literature from the University of Sydney in 1986. She later graduated PhD in Studies in Religion in 1996 and Master of Education (Educational Psychology) in 2001. She has taught in Studies in Religions since 1989, first as a casual tutor and lecturer, and from 1996 as a full-time staff member. The units she teaches include RLST 1002 The History of God, RLST 2626 Witchcraft, Paganism and the New Age, RLST 2631 Celtic and Germanic Mythology, RLST 2627 Religion in Multicultural Australia and RLST 2605 Christianity and the Medieval World.
Her research interests include medieval European religion, religious conversion, medieval and modern Paganism, contemporary religious trends, alternative spiritualities and new religious movements. She is the editor (with Dr Christopher Hartney, University of Sydney) of the Journal of Religious History, and (with Dr Liselotte Frisk, Dalarna University, Sweden) the International Journal for the Study of New Religions. She has a close relationship with the University of Edinburgh, where she takes her Special Studies Program Leave and has taught on exchange in 2009.
Carole is also involved in many Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and University initiatives. She is Pro-Dean (Teaching and Learning) for 2013-2014, and has been Director of Academic Support and Development for two semesters in 2011 and 2012, Associate Dean (Undergraduate) in 2008 to 2010, and Degree Director of the Bachelor of Arts from 2008-2010.
Carole supervises research postgraduates and Honours students in medieval religion, New Age studies, European mythology, Christian conversion, religion and new media, Pagan Studies, pilgrimage and tourism, witchcraft and magic, and new religious movements.
- Faculty of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award (2004)
- CHASS Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision Award (2006)
- Medieval Christianity
- European Mythology
- Theories of Conversion
- Western Esotericism
- Contemporary Religious Trends
- Publications (refereed)
- Carole M. Cusack, “New Religions and the Science of Archaeology: Mormons, the Goddess and Atlantis,” in James R. Lewis (ed.), How Religions Appeal to the Authority of Science, Brill, Leiden, 2010, in press.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Science Fiction as Scripture: Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and the Church of All Worlds,” in Christopher Hartney and Alex Norman (eds), Creative Fantasy and the Religious Imagination, SSLA, Sydney, 2010, in press.
- Carole M. Cusack and Jason H. Prior, “Spiritual Dimensions of Self Transformation in Sydney’s Gay Bathhouses,” Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 57, 2010, in press.
- Carole M. Cusack, ‘Sport and Religion: Rituals of Everyday Life,’ in Vincent Biondo III (ed.), Religion in the Practice of Everyday Life, 3 vols., Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 2010, in press.
- Carole M. Cusack and Jason H. Prior, “Religion, Sexuality and Retribution: Placing the ‘Other’ in Sydney,” in Carole M. Cusack and Christopher H. Hartney (eds), Religion and Retributive Logic: Essays in Honour of Professor Garry W. Trompf, Brill, Leiden, 2010, pp. 347-368.
- Carole M. Cusack and Christopher H. Hartney (eds), Religion and Retributive Logic: Essays in Honour of Professor Garry W. Trompf, Brill, Leiden, 2010,
- Carole M.Cusack, “Fiction, Feminism and the ‘Celtic Church’: The Sister Fidelma Novels of Peter Tremayne,” in Pamela O’Neill (ed.), The Celts in Legend and Reality, 2009 in press.
- Carole M. Cusack and Justine Digance, “The Melbourne Cup: Australian Identity and Secular Pilgrimage,” Sport and Society, Vol. 12, No. 7, September 2009, pp. 876-889.
- Carole M. Cusack and Justine Digance, “Pastoral Care and September 11: Scientology’s Non-Traditional Religious Contribution,” in James R. Lewis (ed.), Scientology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 435-437.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Celebrity, the Popular Media, and Scientology: Making Familiar the Unfamiliar,” in James R. Lewis (ed.), Scientology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 289-409.
- Carole M. Cusack, “The Goddess in Contemporary Paganism,” in James R. Lewis and Murphy Pizza (eds), Handbook of Contemporary Paganism, Leiden, Brill, 2009, pp. p. 335-362.
- Jason Prior and Carole M. Cusack, “Ritual, Liminality and Transformation: Secular Spirituality in Sydney’s Gay Bathhouses,’ Australian Geographer, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2008 pp. 271-281.
- Carole M. Cusack, ‘Introduction,’ in John R. C. Martyn (ed. and trans.), King Sisebut and the Culture of Visigothic Spain, Lewiston, Edwin Mellen Press, 2008, pp. i-ii.
- Carole M. Cusack and Justine Digance, “Shopping for a Self: Pilgrimage, Identity-Formation and Retail Therapy,” Chapter 11 in Graham St John (ed.), Victor Turner and Cultural Performance, Berghahn, 2008, pp. 227-241.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Konkokyo (Golden Light Teachings) and Modernity: A Test of the Faivre-Hanegraaff Six-Point Typology of Western Esotericism,” Australian Religion Studies Review, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2007, pp. 317-333.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Brigit: Goddess, Saint, ‘Holy Woman,’ and Bone of Contention”, in Victoria Barker and Frances di Lauro (eds) On A Panegyrical Note: Studies in Honour of Garry W. Trompf, Sydney Studies in Religion 6, Sydney, 2007, pp. 75-97.
- Carole M. Cusack, “The Goddess Eostre: Bede’s Text and Contemporary Pagan Tradition(s)”, The Pomegranate, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2007, pp. 22-40.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Religion in Australian Society: A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place,” Modern Greek Studies, Vol.13, 2005, 28-45.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Non-Mainstream Religion as ‘Other’ in Detective Fiction,” in Carole M. Cusack, Frances Di Lauro and Christopher Hartney (eds), The Buddha of Suburbia: Proceedings of the VIIIth International Conference for Religion, Literature and the Arts 2004, RLA Press, 2005, pp. 159-174.
- Carole M. Cusack, “Esotericism, Irony and Paranoia in Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum”, in Edward F. Crangle (ed.), Esotericism and the Control of Knowledge, Sydney Studies in Religion 5, 2004, pp. 63-85.
- Carole M. Cusack, “The End of the Human: The Cyborg Past and Present,” in Christopher Hartney and Andrew McGarrity (eds), The Dark Side: Proceedings of the VIIth International Conference for Religion, Literature and the Arts 2002, RLA Press, 2004, pp. 223-234.
- Carole M. Cusack and Justine Digance, “Religious, Spiritual, Secular: Some American Responses to September 11,” Australian Religion Studies Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, Spring 2003, pp. 153-171.
- Carole M. Cusack, “The Virgin Mary at Coogee: A Preliminary Investigation”, Australian Religion Studies Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, Autumn 2003, pp. 116-129.
- Justine Digance and Carole M. Cusack, “Glastonbury: A Tourist Town for All Seasons”, in Graham Dann (ed.), The Tourist as a Metaphor of the Social World, 2002, Wallingford (Oxon, UK): CABI International, pp. 263-280.
- The End of Religions? Religion in an Age of Globalization, ed. Carole M. Cusack and Peter Oldmeadow, Sydney Studies in Religion 4, 2001.
- Justine Digance and Carole M. Cusack, “Secular Pilgrimage Events: Druid Gorsedd and Stargate Alignments”, in Carole M. Cusack and Peter Oldmeadow (eds), The End of Religions? Religion in an Age of Globalization, Sydney Studies in Religion 4, 2001, pp. 216-229.
- This Immense Panorama: Studies in Honour of Eric J. Sharpe, ed. Carole M. Cusack and Peter Oldmeadow, Sydney Studies in Religion 2, 1999.
- “Hagiography and History: the Legend of Saint Ursula“, in Carole M. Cusack and Peter Oldmeadow (eds), This Immense Panorama Studies in Honour of Eric J. Sharpe, Sydney Studies in Religion 2, 1999, pp. 89-104.
- “Sacred Groves and Holy Trees” in Michael Griffith and James Tulip (eds), Spirit of Place: Source of the Sacred?, Centre for Studies in Religion, Literature and the Arts, Sydney, Berget, 1999, pp. 252-261.
- Conversion Among the Germanic Peoples, Cassell, London, 1998 (paperback issued as The Rise of Christianity in Northern Europe 300-1000).
- “Graciosi: Medieval and Early Modern Attitudes to Disability”, Disability and Rehabilitation, Vol. 19, No. 10, October 1997, pp. 414-9.
- “Towards a General Theory of Conversion”, in Lynette Olson (ed.), Religious Change, Conversion and Culture, Sydney Studies in Society and Culture No. 12, 1996, pp. 1-22.
- Carole M. Cusack and Gary J. Campbell, "Women in Postgraduate Education: Problems and Prospects", in Laurajane Smith and Hilary du Cros (eds), Women in Archaeology: A Feminist Critique, Australian National University, 1993.
- Other Interests and Activities
- Carole Cusack has made over one hundred radio programmes on religious and historical subjects, and has appeared on television programmes including Australia’s Favourite Book, Compass and Mondo Thingo (ABC). She regularly is interviewed in newspapers and is a member of the Blake Society for Religious Art.