This unit is designed primarily for non-Indigenous students who wish to explore theology from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander point of view. Students will be introduced to the methods, themes and language of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander approaches to Christian theology. Some work will be done on contrasting these approaches with those of the dominant theological culture.

Unit code: IS1001M

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Indigenous Studies

Proposing College: School of Indigenous Studies

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Learning outcomes


Describe the key methods by which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theologians attempt to decolonise Australian theology.


Articulate the meaning of key terms in contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander forms of spirituality.


Analyse the ways in which Christian doctrines such as that of Trinity, Christ, Church and Revelation are redeployed and reinterpreted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theologians.

Unit sequence

No prerequisite. Level 1 undergraduate foundational.


Content is delivered via: 1/ Set reading each week; 2/ two weekly lectures, allowing time for questions and guided discussion; 3/student-led oral presentations on agreed topics followed by guided discussion.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Denise Champion with Rosemary Dewerse, Yarta Wandatha. Adelaide: Uniting Church. 2014
  • Denise Champion with Rosemary Dewerse, Anaditj. Adelaide: Uniting Church, 2021
  • Garry Worete Deverell, Gondwana Theology: a trawloolway man reflects on Christian faith. Preston, Victoria: Morning Star Press, 2018.
  • Jione Havea (ed.) Indigenous Australia and the Unfinished Business of Theology: Cross-Cultural Engagement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
  • Vicki Grieves, ‘Aboriginal spirituality: Aboriginal philosophy, the basis of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing.’ Darwin: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, 2009.
  • David Joy and Joseph Duggan (eds) Decolonizing the Body of Christ: theology and theory after empire? New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.
  • Anne Curthoys and Jessie Mitchell, Indigenous Rights and Settler Self-Government in Colonial Australia, 1830-1890. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • Skye, Lee Miena. Kerygmatics of the New Millennium: A Study of Australian Aboriginal Women's Christology. No.4. ISPCK, 2007.
  • Anne Pattel-Gray and John P. Brown, Indigenous Australia: a dialogue about the word becoming flesh in Aboriginal churches. Geneva: WCC, 1997.
  • Anne Pattel-Gray (ed.) Aboriginal Spirituality: Past, Present, Future. Blackburn, Victoria: Harper Collins Religious, 1996.
  • Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2019.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Oral Presentation

An oral presentation exhibiting a critical engagement with the readings set for one of the weekly seminars.

1000 30.0
Book Review

A critical review of one of the key texts set for the course.

1000 20.0

A critical essay answering one of four essay questions seeking to encourage students to reevaluate key Christian doctrines through an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander lens.

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Professor Albert Haddad on 5 Apr, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-28 10:49:44 +1000