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 Christianity's 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.


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 a broad and coherent knowledge of 'reconciliation' as a theological/political nexus in Indigenous public policy;
  • be able to analyse and critically evaluate the role of Christian mission in Indigenous Australian history, theological perspectives on Indigenous self-determination, and public policy choices;
  • be able to demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge of 'reconciliation' as it relates to Christian mission and public theology;
  • be able to critically review and analyse 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; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided and collaborative learning, including research, writing and communication skills.


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

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL328 in Session 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Essay 1
Essay 2

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.