This religious history unit introduces students to the place of the Christian churches in Australian society from the colonial period to the present. It considers a number of methodological approaches and the work of a range of representative historians. Themes covered include sectarianism, church-state relations, denominational histories, ecumenism, migration and changing religious demographics.

Unit code: CH3125B

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Eva Burrows College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Analyse significant events and people who have made a contribution to the history of Christianity in Australia


Compare and contrast a range of competing historical interpretations of Christianity in Australia


Critically interpret primary and secondary sources and use them appropriately


Construct a coherent historical argument, relevant to the needs of the contemporary church, using the conventions of the discipline of history.


Articulate the value of historical awareness for the present identity and mission of Australian churches [Level 3 only].

Unit sequence

CH129B Introduction to Church History or equivalent (18 points)


Lectures (text and video), online tutorials, discussion, forum engagement, online videos, web links, reading.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Breward, Ian. A History of the Churches in Australasia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Carey, Hilary M. God’s Empire: Religion and Colonialism in the British World c. 1801-1908. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Jupp, James, ed. Encyclopedia of Religion in Australia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Kaye, Bruce, ed. Anglicanism in Australia: A History. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2002.
  • Lake, Meredith. The Bible in Australia. Sydney: New South, 2018.
  • O’Brien, Anne. God’s Willing Workers: Women and Religion in Australia. Sydney: University of Sydney Press, 2005.
  • O’Brien, Glen. Wesleyan-Holiness Churches in Australia. London and New York: Routledge, 2018.
  • O’Brien, Glen, and Hilary Carey (eds). Methodism in Australia: A History. Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015.
  • Piggin, Stuart and Robert D. Linder. The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914 Melbourne: Monash University Press, 2018.
  • Piggin, Stuart and Robert D. Linder. Attending to the National Soul: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1914–2014. Melbourne: Monash University Press, 2019.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

1,000 word primary source analysis

1000 20.0

500 word post on discussion board

500 10.0

500 word post on discussion board

500 10.0

500 word post on discussion board

500 10.0

2,500 word essay

2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 18 Aug, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-08-18 10:42:57 +1000