The unit provides an empathetic understanding of the different religions practiced in Australia including the Aboriginal religions and the New Religious Movements (NRMs) in their historic settings. The unit will begin with a description of religions itself and will conclude with an emphasis on comparative theology and inter-religious dialogue.

Unit code: DM9011Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


encapsulate the main tenets of at least three religions in Australia


analyse the common aspects of Islam and Christianity


illustrate an empathetic understanding of Australian Aboriginal religions


compare prayer in Christianity and the primal religions


assess the claims of uniqueness by any one religion


appraise the significance of inter-religious relation in the Australian context


Weekly face-to-face lectures and tutorials or online forums with online learning materials.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Antoun, Richard T. Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2001.
  • Bagir, Zainal Abidin, ed. Science and Religion in a Post-Colonial World: Interfaith Perspectives. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2005.
  • Charlesworth, Max, et al eds. Aboriginal Religions in Australia: an Anthology of Recent Writings. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2005.
  • Cherry, Stephen M., and Helen R. Ebaugh, eds. Global Religious Movements Across Borders: Sacred Service. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2014.
  • Clooney, Francis, ed. The New Comparative Theology: Interreligious Insights from the Next Generation. London: T & T Clark, 2010.
  • Hill, Brennan R. World Religions and Contemporary Issues: How Evolving Views on Ecology, Peace, and Women are Impacting Faith Today. New London, CT: Twenty Third Publications, 2013.
  • Lassner, Jacob. Jews, Christians and The Abode of Islam: Modern Scholarship, Medieval Realities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
  • Poceski, Mario. Introducing Chinese Religions. London: Routledge, 2009.
  • Reynolds, Gabriel Said. The Emergence of Islam: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.
  • Yandell, Keith, and Harold Netland. Buddhism: A Christian Exploration and Appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

In-class/online oral presentation and discussion of an aspect of Australian Aboriginal religions. Submit the same as a written essay of 3000 words.

3000 40.0

5000 word essay demonstrating the need for an understanding and collaboration between religions for a better human society.

5000 60.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000