THL225 Aboriginal Cultures and Spirituality (8)


This subject introduces students to aspects of Aboriginal cultures, including the centrality of land to the spirituality and identity of Aboriginal people. The subject explores the Dreaming as the all-encompassing spiritual belief system that forms the foundation of Indigenous Law and the importance of kinship to spirituality and custodianship of ceremony and ‘country’. The impact of colonisation and missionary endeavour on the lives, cultures and spirituality of Indigenous Australians is explored, as is the diversity of Aboriginal cultures and spirituality today. The subject concludes with protocols for engaging effectively with Indigenous Australians and strategies for fostering reconciliation and social justice.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceCanberra Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL225
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Theology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of reconciliation and social justice in the contexts of Indigenous Australian spirituality and cultures;

  • be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal spirituality, cultures and identity;

  • be able to describe the relationship between Aboriginal spirituality, kinship and custodianship of country and ceremony;

  • be able to discuss critically the impact of post-invasion history, including the nature and impact of the policies and practices of protectionism and forcible child removal;

  • be able to evaluate the impact of Christianity and the church on the lives, cultures and spirituality of Aboriginal people;

  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of Aboriginal Christianity and spirituality today;

  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of appropriate protocols for engaging effectively with Indigenous Australians;

  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • The Dreaming and relations to country
  • Kinship Art, Ritual and Ceremony
  • Invasion and the Colonial Frontier period
  • Segregation and Protectionism
  • The Stolen Generations
  • Mixed Missionary Blessings
  • Overcoming the Legacies of Colonisation: Contemporary Aboriginal Cultures; Contemporary Aboriginal Spirituality
  • Aboriginal Christianity and the role of the Church in promoting social justice and reconciliation in the twenty-first century
  • Protocols for engaging effectively with Indigenous Australians


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.