Australia is often called the ‘first post-Christian society’ and ‘the most Godless country under heaven’ but Australians who articulate their ‘search for meaning’ sincerely are accorded national respect. This subject approaches the paradox of Australian religious history through four key ‘secular’ sites in order to locate religious belief and approaches to ‘the sacred’ in the wider context of Australian culture. Exploration of change over time in the role and significance of the beach, the family home, the war memorial and the sports ground lays a foundation for discussion of the place of the church as an institution and a community in Western post-industrial democracies and casts light on Australian perceptions of ‘good’, ‘bad’ and ‘God’. You will be able to draw on your own interests and expertise to formulate research questions and will be supported as you undertake independent research in response to those questions.

Unit Code: CH9020P

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

Show when this Unit is running

Learning Outcomes


Identify and assess key themes in the post-contact history of Australia, and set those themes in the context of the international literature on faith and belief;


Identify and reflect on a public place in the student’s local area as symbolic of a key theme in Australian public life or history


Articulate the relationship between theological reflection and history in relation to an aspect of Australian public life;


Analyse and interpret a range of historical and theological sources;


Offer appropriate peer feedback on a research proposal;


Analyse feedback received from peers and apply it to a research task.

Unit sequence

Pre-requisites 15 points in Field C


Participatory student-centred seminars, reflection on experience, guided engagement with source material, student formulated research questions, peer feedback.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Site report (1,000 words)

0 20.0

Poster (equivalent 2,000 words)

0 30.0

Essay (3,000 words)

0 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 5 Sep, 2018

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-28 11:11:19 +1100