THL488 Doing Theology on Aboriginal Land (8)

This subject situates the debate as to what constitutes a cross-cultural theology within the extant relationship of Indigenous Australia (including Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders) and white settlement. It pays attention to the experiences, traditions, stories, spirituality and search for justice of Aboriginal people, and brings these matters to bear on a contemporary theological exploration of the nature of God, Christian identity, and biblical interpretation, in contemporary Australian society.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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

Enrolment Restrictions

Master of Arts (Public and Contextual Theology)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a developing knowledge of Indigenous history, spirituality, social structures, and experience, both before 1788 and in the period since 1788;
  • be able to articulate the implications of an Aboriginal way of looking at the world for how a Western expression of the Christian faith understands the revelation of God in Jesus Christ;
  • be able to articulate the issues involved in developing a hermeneutic which engages the realities and concerns of the Indigenous peoples of Australia;
  • be able to reflect critically on the relationship between culture and theology;
  • be able to identify and analyse issues of justice which Indigenous peoples face in contemporary Australian society.


This subject will cover the following topics:

1. Indigenous history, spirituality, social structures and experiences; 2. Varieties of Indigenous identity - traditional and urban; 3. Indigenous spirituality and understanding of God; 4. The relationship between gospel and culture; 5. Theological models: frameworks for thinking about theology, methods for doing theology; 6. The interaction of Western expressions of Christian faith with Indigenous Christianity and spirituality; 7. The interaction of diasporic experience and theology with Indigenous Christianity and spirituality; 8. Developing a hermeneutic that takes account of Indigenous experience; 9. Exploring methods of doing theology in the light of Indigenous experience; 10. What it means to be an Australian when living on Indigenous land.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.The residential school will enable students to reflect together on the issues raised, under the leadership of Indigenous people working in consultation with the subject coordinator. Indigenous people will provide input on matters such as Indigenous views of history; Indigenous identity as it relates to genealogy and country; attitudes towards 'Dreaming'; the content and purpose of indigenous stories; the place of suffering in Indigenous discourse. The subject co-ordinator will also lead students in reflective discussions on this input, focussing on the ways that this input leads the students to reshape their understanding of God, revelation, scripture interpretation, the soteriological necessity of Jesus, worship, ecclesiology, ethical issues such as racism, and social and political issues in society.

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.