This research –rich subject 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. 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. We examine the history of the New Norcia township paying attention to the foundation narratives and key personalities, the role of women, the interaction with Aboriginal Australians and the patterns of contact with the wider Australian and international communities. Students undertake research work with archival material in English on a key theme relating to the monastery, farm, schools, library, and mission activities.

Unit Code: CH9410P

Points: 48.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

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


Explore and analyse central themes of the Rule of St Benedict and Benedictine spirituality;


Explore and analyse 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


Demonstrate competence in use of historical sources, including the interpretation of original archival sources and in the construction of historical argument

Unit sequence

Prerequisites: 30 points in CH with at least one result of 75% Prohibited combinations: CH/DS8405: Prayer and Hospitality: Benedictine Spirituality in Australia


Seminar, workshop, discussion, online forum, independent research Participation in the live-in experience will include lecture-style input and discussion (5 x 2 hours) and seminar-style source-based discussion (5 x 3 hours), in addition to involvement in and reflection on the community life of prayer (28 hours is programmed and available, 8 hours is expected), and guided research drawing on the resources of the archives and library (2x3 hours). The Orientation meeting (4 hours) and the Saturday workshop on research (6 hours) will include input and small group discussion. Online forum 2 hours weekly over 14 weeks.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Participation in online forum (1000 words)

0 20.0

Journal - 1,000 words

0 20.0

Source Exercise - 1,000 words

0 20.0

Essay - 3,000 words

0 40.0

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

Unit Record last updated: 2019-04-01 11:29:01 +1100