Since Robert J. Schreiter’s ground breaking theoretical work, reconciliation has emerged as a key motif within mission theory and practice. The concept has remarkable utility both within the church as a community of ‘neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor male and female’, and without in the contexts of post-apartheid South Africa and post-genocide Rwanda. This advanced course will begin with the theological and political theories of reconciliation and their potential interconnection, considering particularly Schreiter’s work. It turns to the appropriation of this concept within South Africa, Rwanda and the role played by the church within this political reconciliation. While this has met with some significant success, not all contexts appear open to ‘reconciliation’ as a central political category – due precisely to its Christian context. Notable here is the complaint of indigenous communities within a post-colonial context. The course will be an exercise in constructive missiology with concentrated attention on a single theological concept, its ground, limits, political utility and future directions.

Unit Code: DM9309P

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Missiology

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Articulate a theology of reconciliation with attention paid to its roots within the Western theological tradition and its revision and application in a variety of contexts;


Assess the significance of such theology for the church as a body of people of gendered, cultural, economic, and political difference;


Contrast the theological basis and limits of reconciliation with those shaping the coordinated political discourse;


Evaluate the utility of reconciliation as a category for political mobilisation, with special attention paid to the criticisms of indigenous peoples within post-colonial contexts.

Unit sequence

This course is an exercise in constructive theology, and offers an opportunity to develop an in-depth and polished piece of work of a level perhaps suitable for publication. The student, in consultation with the lecturer, will identify one aspect of the missiological discussion of reconciliation, including its political appropriation, and develop a constructive theological work.


Online learning materials, tasks and tutorial discussion


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

2000 word drafted outline of the final argument. This will be submitted to and discussed with the lecturer and developed into the final essay. This 2000 words is to be incorporated as part of the final 6000 word total, and should be understood as a first draft of the final submitted essay

2000 25.0

6000 word critical essay which builds on the drafted outline and which looks to make a constructive contribution to the field of discourse.

6000 75.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2015

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-07 10:51:17 +1000