Elective Unit                                                                           (Min. No. 8)
1st semester Monday evening

The unit provides an empathetic understanding of the different religions practised in Australia including the Aboriginal religions and the New Religious Movements, in their historic settings. The unit will begin with a description of religion itself and will conclude with an emphasis on comparative theology and inter religious dialogue.



Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. list the main tenets of at least three religions in Australia
  2. describe the common aspects of Islam and Christianity
  3. demonstrate an empathetic understanding of Australian Aboriginal religions
  4. compare prayer in Christianity and the primal religions
  5. examine the claims of uniqueness by any one religion
  6. discuss the significance of inter religious relation in the Australian context.


A Tutorial presentation and 2000 word paper (40%); 4000 word essay (60%)


Antoun, Richard T. Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2001.

Charlesworth, Max, ed. Aboriginal Religions in Australia. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing, 2005.

Chury, Stephen M., ed. Global Religious Movements. Farnah, England: Ashgate, 2014.

Clooney, Francis, ed. The New Comparative Theology: Interreligious Insights from the Next Generation. London: T&T Clark, 2010.

Eliade, Mircea. Patterns in Comparative Religion. London: Sheed & Ward, 1958.

Hill, Brennan R. World Religions and Contemporary Issues. New London: Twenty Third Publications, 2013.

Kinnard, Jacob N. The Emergence of Buddhism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011.

Lassner, Jacob. Jews, Christians and The Abode of Islam. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

Poceski, Mario. Introducing Chinese Religions, London: Routledge, 2009.

Reynolds, Gabriel Said. The Emergence of Islam: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Sarma, Deepak, ed. Hinduism A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.

Singh, Kaur. Sikhism. New York: Fact On File Inc., 2004.

Yandell, Keith, and Harold, Netland. Buddhism: A Christian Exploration and Appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.

Zainal, Abidin Bagir, Science and Religion in a Post-Colonial World: Interfaith Perspectives. Adelaide, SA: AFT Press, 2005.