On Wednesday 8 December, Newman College hosted the launch of two new scholarly works by Melbourne-based authors: The Architecture of Devotion: James Goold and His Legacies in Colonial Melbourne by editors Jaynie Anderson, Dr Max Vodola and Shane Carmody, and The Art of Praise: Italian Illuminated Choir Books 1300-1450 by Professor Margaret Manion IBVM.

Addressing the crowd gathered, Professor Anne Dunlop, Herald Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne, said it was a unique honour to gather in celebration of scholarship that involved two Australian women, both former Herald Chairs themselves: Margaret Manion IBVM (from 1979-1995) and Jaynie Anderson (from 1997-2014).

I was appointed the fourth Herald Chair in 2015, after Jaynie and Margaret,’ said Anne. ‘It’s not an overstatement to say that the strength and vitality of art history as a discipline in Australia is one direct legacy of their work.’
Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Rector of Newman College, welcomes the crowd gathered

New volume explores bishop’s vision and cultural heritage

The Architecture of Devotion is published by The Miegunyah Press, an imprint of Melbourne University Publishing, and is the second volume in a series that explores the life and legacy of Melbourne’s first bishop (later archbishop), James Alipius Goold. Pope Pius IX appointed Goold as bishop of the newly established Diocese of Melbourne on 9 July 1847, but it would be another year before the new bishop arrived, famously travelling by coach from Sydney to Melbourne, where he would spend the next four decades of his life.

The same editorial and research team that published the first volume, The Invention of Melbourne: A Baroque Archbishop and a Gothic Architect (2019), has produced this latest installment, made possible through a Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council and other supporters. The first volume was such a success that it was reprinted in 2020 and shortlisted in the Victorian Community History Awards (‘History Publication Award’).

The Architecture of Devotion brings together a series of essays that were initially presented at a symposium held in February 2020, and offers readers a glimpse into Goold’s vision for the newly created diocese and his eventual establishment of an extraordinary network of schools, churches and welfare institutions across the state, many of which remain today.

But as The Architecture of Devotion proves, Goold’s legacy lies in more than just the vast networks he established or the 86 churches built during his episcopate. Goold, the editors note, arrived in a ‘provincial town’ in 1848 but died an archbishop of a ‘major international city’ in 1886.

He contributed enormously to the religious, educational, architectural and cultural life of the diocese, because the new colony of Victoria was like a grand canvas that he slowly helped to fill, with subtelty and determination. His vision was daring, even in the face of criticism, and his energy boundless for the task at hand. This second volume shines new light on James Alipius Goold, and brings him to life as a unique cultural patron.’
Architecture of devotion cover
The Architecture of Devotion: James Goold and his legacies in Colonial Melbourne (2021) Published by The Miegunyah Press

To help launch this latest volume on Goold, distinguished professors Joy Damousi of Australian Catholic University, Philip Goad of the University of Melbourne and Katharine Massam of Pilgrim Theological College (University of Divinity) each spoke on the lasting cultural impact of Melbourne’s first archbishop.

Prof. Massam called it a beautiful book ‘produced with care and attention to all the right details’. ‘[A]s the images and the portraits show, the accounts here are concerned with the flesh-and-blood issues of what it meant for a bishop to build a diocese and to make choices about its style and the legacy he would leave.

‘It’s a book where relationships and networks matter. It takes us close to the currents of spirituality that were flowing through the institutional edifices, and to the fine grain of interactions and personalities that played out in decisions. We see in these essays case study after case study in “inculturation” if you like, examples of how and why particular strands of a “universal faith” (with international reach through the cultures of particular religious communities and countries) were given “particular” expression in colonial Victoria.

James Goold is at the forefront of most chapters, he’s been the focus for a network of enquiries from a team of scholars as he was part of networks of influence in his time. In this book he doesn’t stand alone, but his interests offer us windows onto wider stories about Melbourne and Australia. Among the many strands on offer, there’s a captivating narrative of faith.’

It’s worth noting that this latest volume is dedicated to Diocesan Archivist and Goold Museum Manager Rachel Naughton, who this year celebrated 25 years in the role. The editors expressed their gratitude for Rachel’s tireless work in preserving, recording and making accessible the legacy of Melbourne’s first Archbishop.

This volume is a worthy addition to the bookshelves of historians and scholars of Goold, and of all Melbourne Catholics, particularly as the Diocese prepares to celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2022.

Copies of The Architecture of Devotion: James Goold and His Legacies in Colonial Melbourne are available for purchase from Melbourne University Publishing.

The Art of Praise: Italian Illuminated Choir Books 1300-1450 by Professor Margaret Manion IBVM is not available for purchase, but copies will be donated to university libraries and public libraries throughout Australia and overseas.