1st semester Wednesday morning    Crosslisted as DT2/3470Y    (Min. No. 8)


The unit will provide students with an exposure to Christian Social Teaching (principally Catholic) in relation to Indigenous Peoples. The main focus is the Australian context and to issues relating to Aboriginal Australians. Relevant ecclesial, biblical and theological writings addressing indigenous social issues will be considered. Topics under discussion include: the human person, justice and reconciliation, history, land, and church involvement with indigenous people. A key resource is Dominic O’Sullivan’s ‘Faith, Politics and Reconciliation: Catholicism and the Politics of Indigeneity’.


Level 2: One level one unit in Missiology or Moral Theology

Level 3: At least one level two unit in Missiology or Moral Theology

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. trace the developments of the church’s social teaching relating to key indigenous themes
  2. show evidence of competence and discernment in the use of relevant resource material
  3. examine key ecclesial, theological and biblical texts and explore implications for the church’s teaching and practice in indigenous issues today
  4. present orally, in a clear, convincing and engaging manner, a relevant research topic
  5. provide a critical analysis and response to the impact of the church’s social teaching on indigenous peoples, especially Aboriginal Australians
  6. articulate critical reflection on personal experiences relating to the church’s social teaching and Aboriginal Australians (Level 3)


Level 2: Written tutorial 1000 words (30%); 3000 word essay (70%)

Level 3: Written tutorial 1000 words (30%); 4000 word essay (70%)


Arbuckle, Gerald A. Culture, Inculturation, and Theologians. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1996.

Copeland, M. Shawn. Enfleshing Freedom. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.

Cornish, Sandie. The Catholic Human Rights Tradition and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Blackburn, VIC: Collins Dove, 1994.

Cullen, P, B.Hoose, and Gerard Mannion, eds. Catholic Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations. Maiden Lane, NY: Continuum, 2007.

Fletcher, Frank, edited by Fabian Byers. Jesus and the Dreaming, Strathfield, NSW: St Pauls Publications, 2013.

Hall, Gerard and Joan Hendriks, eds. Dreaming a New Earth. Melbourne, VIC: Mosaic Press, 2012

Massingale, Bryan N. Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis , 2010.

McCarthy, David Matzko, ed. The Heart of Catholic Social teaching: Its Origins and Contemporary Significance. Grand Rapids, Ml: Brazos Press, 2009.

Nardoni, Enrique. Rise up, O Judge: A Study of Justice in the Biblical World. Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 2004.

O’Sullivan, Dominic. Faith, Politics and Reconciliation: Catholicism and the Politics of Indigeneity. Adelaide, SA: ATF Press, 2005.