The unit will introduce students to Indigenous ways of reading Christian Scripture. Sustained attention will be given to Indigenous methods of reading and also to a consideration of specific texts which have had a significant impact on Indigenous people (either for good or for ill). Topics for study will include the place of Scripture within Indigenous spirituality, theology and ritual; the historic impact of colonial interpretations of Scripture on Indigenous people; Indigenous reading strategies (hermeneutics); and interpretations of Scripture in Indigenous art.

Unit code: IS2001M

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Indigenous Studies

Proposing College: School of Indigenous Studies

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate knowledge of the place of Scripture in Indigenous communities


Critically exegete one of the biblical texts covered in the unit, with attention to its socio-theological context


Describe and evaluate Indigenous approaches to reading the biblical texts


Synthesise Indigenous and historical-critical approaches to reading biblical texts

Unit sequence

May be taken at undergraduate level 2 in a Bachelor's degree, undergraduate diploma or undergraduate certificate. Prerequisite in any case would be 18 points (one standard unit) in Indigenous Studies or Biblical Studies.


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

Indicative Bibliography

Roland Boer, and Fernando Segovia (eds), The Future of the Biblical Past : Envisioning Biblical Studies on a Global Key, Atlanta, Georgia: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.

Mark G. Brett, Locations of God: political theology in the Hebrew Bible, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

Jione Havea and Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon (eds), Bible Blindspots: Dispersing and Othering, Eugene: Pickwick Publications. 2021

Anne Pattel-Gray and Norman Habel, Decolonising the Biblical Narrative. Volume One: Ancestral Land Narratives of Genesis 1-11, Adelaide: ATF Press, 2022.

Dino Hodge (ed), Colouring the Rainbow: Blaq Queer and Trans Perspectives, Mile End, SA: Wakefield Press, 2015.

Kenneth N. Ngwa, Let my People Live: an Africana reading of Exodus, Louisville, USA: Westminister/John Knox Press, 2022.

Rainbow Spirit Elders, The Rainbow Spirit in Creation: a Reading of Genesis 1, Normal Habel (ed.), Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2000.

Randy Woodley, Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

An oral presentation reflecting on at least one of the journal articles or book chapters set for each week. To be written up and submitted one week after the presentation is given.

1000 20.0

An exegetical study of one of the scriptural texts set for the unit.

1500 30.0

A research essay (or a piece of creative work using video, visual art, sculpture, drama or ritual, including oral or written theological reflection) comparing, contrasting and synthesising Indigenous and historical-critical approaches to the biblical text. The essay may be weighted towards a philosophical/theological discussion or else towards a theological exegesis of a specific text.

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 15 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-28 10:32:37 +1000