This unit will examine the character of Christian faith as evident in the life stories of a number of theologians and other significant persons. It will draw specifically upon the methodology of James McClendon to identify how the life-experience of these theologians has influenced their distinctive approach to theology and Christian faith. It will also provide opportunity for each student to explore the theological significance of their own life story.

Unit code: CT2033W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Explain McClendon’s methodology for using biography as theology;


Apply that methodology in the study of several biographies


Outline and discuss the character of faith as seen in the life and work of one major theologian


Identify possible implications for their own lives, as a source for theological reflection

Unit sequence

Pre-requisite required - 54 points in Foundational Studies


Lectures and seminars together with follow-up online discussions.

Indicative Bibliography

  • = set texts recommended for purchase *
  • McClendon, J Biography as theology , 2nd Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Trinity Press International, 2002. *
  • Balmer, Randall, Redeemer: the life of Jimmy Carter. New York: Basic Books, 2014.
  • Bethge, E Dietrich Bonhoeffer London: Collins, 1970.
  • Busch, E Karl Barth. His life from letters and autobiographical texts. London: SCM, 1976.
  • Carson, Clayborne (ed.), The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. London: Little, Brown & Co., 1999.
  • Confoy, Maryanne Morris West: Literary Maverick. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.
  • Fowler, J, Lovin, R et. al, Trajectories in faith. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1980.
  • Hamlin, Catherine & Little, John The Hospital by the River: a story of hope. Sydeney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2001.
  • Higgins, Michael & Burns, Kevin Genius Born of Anguish: the life and legacy of Henri Nouwen, New York: Paulist Press, 2012.
  • Lipsey, Roger, Hammarskjöld: A Life. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013.
  • Moltmann, J A Broad Place: An Autobiography, Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2007.
  • Pauck, W & Pauck, M Paul Tillich: His life and Thought, Vol. 1, London: Collins, 1977.
  • Pidwell, Harold, A Gentle Bunyip: the Athol Gill story, West Lakes, South Australia: Seaview Press, 2007.
  • Rudolph, Ivan John Flynn: Of flying doctors and frontier faith. North Blackburn, Victoria: Dove Publications, 1996.
  • Sobrino, Jon and Martin-Baro, Ignacio (eds.), Voice of the Voiceless: Archbishop Oscar Romero. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 1985.
  • Spink, Kathryn, Mother Teresa (Revised Edition), New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2011.
  • Stone, Elaine Murray, Dorothy Day: Champion of the poor. New York: Paulist Press, 2004.
  • Webb, V Florence Nightingale: the making of a radical theologian, St Louis: Chalice Press, 2002


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review

One book review

1500 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial

One seminar paper

1000 20.0

One essay

1500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 23 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:51 +1000