The unit explores approaches to theologies and practices of cultural meeting and understanding. By examining a range of theologies of culture and inculturation, students are able to develop an understanding of the challenges, complexities, and issues associated with mission attuned to cross-cultural engagement and the contextualisation of Christian practice and belief.

Unit code: DM9332Y

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


Evaluate theories of culture in human life


Critically analyse aspects of cultural anthropology and theology related to mission


Evaluate situations and experiences of intercultural dialogue and gospel inculturation


Evaluate cultural pressures on Christian life and belief


Demonstrate the capacity to research a specific topic in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.

Unit sequence

Either a PG Foundational CT or DM unit


The ‘information, formation and transformation’ model underpins this Unit. Pedagogy for the unit is informed, framed and modified in relation to the religious and cultural experience and context of students. The teaching methodology fosters dialogue and critical reflection skills.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Adeney, Frances. Women and Christian Mission: Ways of Knowing and Doing Theology. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2015.

  • Andraos, Michael, Bernadeth Caero Bustillos, Geraldo de Mori, eds. Christianities and Indigenous Peoples, London: SCM Press, 2019.

  • Stephen Bevans and Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, eds. Contextual Theology for the Twenty-First Century. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2011.

  • Grenham, Thomas, G. The Unknown God: Religious and Theological Inculturation. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2005.

  • McDowell, John C. Identity Politics in George Lucas (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2016).

  • McDowell, John C. Theology and the Globalized Present: Feasting in the Presence of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2019).

  • McDowell, John C. The Politics of Big Fantasy: Studies in Cultural Suspicion (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2014).

  • Ross, Cathy and Stephen B. Bevans, Mission on the Road to Emmaus: Constants, Context and Prophetic Dialogue, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2015.

  • Tan, Jonathan Y. Christian Mission among the Peoples of Asia. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2014.

  • Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Essay 2500 35.0
Essay 4500 65.0

Variant 2

Essay 700 10.0
Essay 6300 90.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 9 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-10 08:07:50 +1000