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: DT2470Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Trace 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.


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, the topic chosen for research.


Produce a critical analysis and response to the impact of the church’s social teaching on indigenous peoples, especially Aboriginal Australians (Level 3).

Unit sequence

Pre-requisites: CH/DT 2230Y Catholic Social Thought in Australia & Overseas OR 18 points in DM 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, MN: Liturgical Press, 1996
  • Copeland, M. Shawn. Enfleshing Freedom. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.
  • Cornish, Sandie, The Catholic Human Rights Tradition and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. North Blackburn, Victoria: 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, Vic: 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 Origin 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 (%)

Essay 3000 words

3000 70.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Tutorial presentation 1000 words

1000 30.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-13 10:14:24 +1100