‘Our diggers would turn in their graves’: nostalgia and civil religion in Australia’s far-right

Mario Peucker, Peter Lentini, Debra Smith, Muhammad Iqbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Commemorating wars plays an important role in reinforcing a sense of national identity in many countries. Bellah’s (1967) work on civil religion argues that such commemorations have a quasi-sacred character and can have cohesive-inclusive and coercive-exclusive effects. This article examines how references to the Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) are incorporated into far-right messaging online where the Anzac legend is typically discussed with the purpose of conveying a nostalgic image of a narrowly defined, exclusionary national identity. Unconditional glorification of Anzac is used as a benchmark of acceptance, often linked to anti-Muslim messaging and sometimes embedded in a White supremacy agenda. The official Anzac commemorations remain mute to far-right attempts to use Anzac for their own political mobilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-205
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anzac
  • Australia
  • civil religion
  • commemoration of wars
  • far-right
  • national identity

Cite this