THL328 Reconciliation: The Theological-Political Nexus in Indigenous Public Policy (8)

This subject examines Australia's national 'reconciliation' goal as illustrative of a nexus between theological objectives and political means. The context is set through a study of Christianitys place in Indigenous Australian histories, before assessing contemporary limits and possibilities for Christian engagement with public decision making in relation to, for example, the stolen generations, land rights, and self-determination. It examines the relevance of religious principles to these policies to illuminate the theology and politics of 'sorrow' and 'reconciliation', and their interconnectedness in public life. Comparative lessons will be drawn from Christian contributions to 'reconciliation' in indigenous public policy in other jurisdictions.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 3 (90)
United Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL328. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of 'reconciliation' as a theological/political nexus in Indigenous public policy
  • be able to evaluate critically the role of Christian mission in Indigenous Australian history, theological perspectives on Indigenous self-determination, and public policy choices
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of 'reconciliation' as it relates to Christian mission and public theology
  • be able to assess critically how Christian churches attend to the practical implications of 'reconciliation'
  • be able to articulate and assess critically other jurisdictions' engagement with the politics and theology of 'reconciliation' in indigenous public policy


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • 'Reconciliation': Theology and political perspectives
  • Christian approaches to public theology
  • Christian mission in Indigenous Australian history
  • Indigenous responses to Christianity
  • Reconciliation as it relates to Christian mission in Australia
  • Aboriginal reconciliation as public theology
  • The theology and politics of saying 'sorry'
  • Reconciliation and the politics of reparation
  • Indigenous land rights and self-determination: Theological perspectives
  • Christian churches and reconciliation in practice
  • 'Sorrow' and the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand indigenous public policy
  • Saying Sorry in South Africa: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: February 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.