2nd semester intensive:  July 15/16 & 29; August 26/27; September 2        (Min. No. 8)



This unit provides an opportunity for participants to reflect on decreasing interest in institutional religion, but increasing interest in spirituality.

Using a range of educational tools, the unit will examine:  generational differences in the western post-modern world; the role of religion in traditional and post-traditional societies; an overview of the development theory; biblical, traditional and more modern understandings of faith; the dialogue between institutional religion and personal spirituality; the modern challenges facing individuals and religious communities in our contemporary scientifically oriented society.





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

  1. identify the impact of generational and cultural changes on the role of religion, images of God and the understanding of faith
  2. exhibit an awareness of theological and developmental theories of human growth
  3. discuss cultural and age-related issues in the construction and reconstruction of meaning
  4. recognize the relationship between people’s image of God and their ideas about religion and spirituality
  5. analyse the challenges and possibilities of reconstructing personal and communal meaning in contemporary scientifically oriented society.


1500 word essay (30%); 3000 word essay (70%)



Bouma, Gary. Australian Soul – Religion and Spirituality in Australia. Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Cowdell, Scott. God’s Next Big thing – Discovering the Future Church. Mulgrave, VIC: John Garratt, 2004.

Delio, Ilia. The Emergent Christ, New York: Orbis Books, 2011.

Frame, Tom. Losing my Religion- Unbelief in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2009.

Gallagher, Michael Paul. Faith Maps. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2010.

Langmead, Ross. Reimagining God and Mission. Adelaide: ATF, 2007.

O’Leary, Daniel. Begin with the Heart Recovering a Sacramental Vision. Dublin: The Columba Press, 2008.

Maher, Anthony, ed. Bridging the Divide Between Faith, Theology and Life. Adelaide: ATF Theology,2015.

Ranson, David. Across the Great Divide – Bridging Religion and Spirituality Today. Strathfield, NSW: St Paul’s, 2002.

Rolheiser, Ronald. Seeking  Spirituality – Guidelines for a Christian Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998.

______. Secularity and the Gospel – Being Missionaries to our Children. New York: Crossroad, 2006.

Tacey, David. Beyond Literal Belief, Religion as Metaphor. Mulgrave, VIC: Garratt Publishing, 2015.

Treston, Kevin. Emergence for life not fall from grace. Preston, VIC: Mosaic, 2013.

Walker, Andrew. Spirituality in the City. London: SPCK, 2005.

Webb, Val. In Defence of Doubt. St. Louis, MI: Chalice Press, 1995.