The unit will provide students with a comprehensive exposure to Christian Social Teaching (principally Catholic) in relation to Indigenous Peoples. The main focus is the Australian context and to the issues relating to Aboriginal Australians. Relevant ecclesial, biblical and theological writings addressing indigenous social issues will be considered. Topics under discussion include: the human person, justice and reconciliation, history, land, and church involvement with indigenous people.

Unit code: DM9470Y (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Assess the development of the church’s social teaching relating to key indigenous themes.


Show evidence of competence and discernment in the use of relevant resource material.


Critically examine ecclesial, theological and biblical texts, exploring implications for the church’s teaching and practice relating to indigenous peoples.


Present orally, in a clear, convincing and engaging manner, a relevant research topic


Provide a critical analysis and response to the impact of the church’s social teaching on indigenous peoples, especially aboriginal Australians


Critically reflect on personal experiences relating to the church’s social teaching and indigenous peoples

Unit sequence

This unit is generally available as an elective unit in all postgraduate awards. Pre-requisites: CH/DT9230Y Catholic Social Thought in Australia & Overseas OR 24 points at level 8 in DSM or DT.


Interactional; lectures; additional audio/visual input; discussion. Cultural awareness and knowledge, as well as critical linguistic and literary skills provide the respectful, interactive pedagogy for this Unit. (Delivery includes visit to Aboriginal Catholic Ministry).

Indicative Bibliography

  • Arbuckle, Gerald A. Culture, Inculturation and Theologians. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1996.
  • Copeland, M.Shawn. Enfleshing Freedom. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.
  • Cornish, Sandie. The Catholic Human Rights Tradition and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1994.
  • Cullen, P, B.Hoose and Gerard Mannion, eds. Catholic Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations. Maiden Lane, NY: Continuum, 2007.
  • Hall, Gerard and Joan Hendriks, eds. Dreaming a New Earth. Melbourne: Mosaic Press, 2012.
  • Massingale, Bryan N. Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010.
  • McCarthy, David Matzko, ed. The Heart of Catholic Social teaching: Its Origins and Contemporary Significance. Grand Rapids, Ml: Brazos Press, 2009.
  • Nardoni, Enrique. Rise up, O Judge: A Study of Justice in the Biblical World. Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 2004.
  • O’Sullivan, D. Faith, Politics and Reconciliation: Catholicism and the Politics of Indigeneity. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

Tutorial Presentation 2500 words

2500 30.0

4500 word Essay

4500 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-15 12:00:23 +1000