This unit locates Benedictinism in the wider history of monasticism. It covers monastic prayer with particular attention to the psalms, lectio divina, and liturgical life, the place of manual work and understandings of hospitality. Taking the monastic town of New Norcia as an example, it explores the Benedictine tradition in Australia especially in relation to the post-contact history of the former mission town. Students will spend a week living in the guest-house of the Benedictine monastery at New Norcia, Western Australia, participating in the community life of prayer. In addition, they will attend lectures and participate in group discussions. There will be a number of structured activities based on the resources of the archives, museum, art gallery and cross-cultural Education Centre.

Unit Code: CH3405P

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Articulate their experience of Benedictine spirituality and hospitality


Identify the central themes of the Rule of St Benedict and Benedictine spirituality;


Identify the central themes in the history of Australian missionary work;


Interpret key themes in Australian history and the history of monasticism in relation to the particular experience of the New Norcia mission


Discuss the historical role and contemporary significance of monasticism within the Australian church

Unit sequence

Prohibited combinations: CH9410P: Living by the Rule: Benedictine Spirituality in Australia


Participation in the live-in experience will include lecture-style input and discussion (5 x 2 hours) and seminar-style source-based discussion (7 x 3 hours), in addition to involvement in and reflection on the community life of prayer (8 hours minimum), and structured activities drawing on the resources of the archives, museum, art gallery and cross-cultural Education Centre (4 hours). The Orientation meeting (4 hours) and the Saturday workshop on research (3 hours) will include input and small group discussion.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Journal – 4,000 words

0 60.0

Source Exercise – 1,000 words

0 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2014

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-25 14:09:10 +1100