At every level of society today one hears the word ‘context’. But, what is a context? What does it mean to ‘have a context’? This level three course examines this concept, especially in terms of the relationship of the Christian faith to culture(s). What might it mean for the Christian gospel to be “local” while also “continuous” with the tradition? What implications might the cross-cultural transmission of the gospel have for church structures and institutions, creedal formulation, liturgy, doctrinal formulations and theological method? It surveys examples of contextualisation of the gospel through Christian history, before turning to the secondary reflection on this question as it arises in the mid-19th century. This steps through concepts like indigenisation, acculturation, enculturation, inculturation and contextualisation, and explores the different insights to the faith and culture question each approach brings. The course concludes with an examination of culture theory and intercultural hermeneutics and theology.

Unit code: DM9019P (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Missiology

Delivery mode: Online

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Give a complex definition of ‘context’


Map forms of the gospel’s interaction with culture through Christian history


Categorize different theories for understanding the interaction between gospel and culture with a critical evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each


Articulate the key theoretical lines of intercultural theology


Identify a range of ‘contextual’ theologies and analyze the key questions, methods, and types of authorities underlying them




Type Description Word count Weight (%)

A glossary (1500 words)

1500 35.0

An essay (4500 words)

4500 65.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 5 Sep, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2019-06-07 07:55:51 +1000