THL499 Sacramental Theology (8)

This subject traces the origins of sacramental theology from its Jewish antecedents through to the New Testament texts and early church. It then considers the rise of sacramental theology proper in the patristic period. Later developments are pursued through historical and liturgical sources, from the medieval Western church and Reformation to the divergent traditions and practices in contemporary churches. The subject addresses challenges brought to sacramental theology by the ecumenical movement and by liberation, feminist and ecological theology.

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

Not available to students who have completed THL314 Sacramental Theology (paired subject).

Assumed Knowledge

THL408, THL409, THL410 and THL460

Subject Relationships

THL314 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of key historical developments in sacramental theology;
  • be able to identify and to articulate the sacramental theology expressed in liturgical texts and their enactment;
  • be able to discuss and critically evaluate contemporary sacramental theologies and church practices;
  • be able to give an advanced critical account of the meaning and practice of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation in various contemporary ecclesial traditions;
  • be able to analyse critically sacramental practice and theology in light of contemporary issues, for example, reconciliation, abuse, ecology, multiculturalism; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The concept of sacrament and its relation to sign, word and sacramentality
  • Biblical and patristic foundations of sacramental theology
  • The development of sacramental theology in the Western church during the Medieval and Reformation periods
  • Changes in Catholic sacramental theology from the Council of Trent to Vatican II
  • Sacramental theology and practice in the post-Reformation period, for example, the Anglican Prayer Books, the Roman Missal and Uniting in Worship 2
  • The meaning and practice of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation
  • The impact of the ecumenical movement on denominational sacramental theology and practice
  • Challenges to sacramental theology from liberation, feminist and ecological theologies
  • Critical sacramental practice in the current context, for example, reconciliation, church abuse, individualism, multiculturalism

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL499 in Session 1 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.