Elective unit                                                                                                          (Min. No. 8)

1st semester: Tuesday morning



The unit explores understandings and realities of the meeting between cultures and the Gospel. By examining Thomas Grenham’s writings on theological inculturation and Kathryn Tanner’s work on ‘Theories of Culture’, the students are challenged to move towards a ‘process’ rather than static based approach to, and description of Gospel contextualisation, by becoming more attuned to the developing understandings of both ‘Mission’ and ‘Culture’. Unit content draws on the understanding and experience of the student while aiming to describe a spirituality for mission in today’s inter-religious and inter-cultural world.

PREREQUISITES: DT8330Y or equivalent


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

  1. describe understandings and theories of culture in human life
  2. explore aspects of cultural anthropology and of church teaching and practice that related to mission historically
  3. identify biblical and theological texts which provide key learning for missionary spirituality
  4. present a critical reflection on a selected aspect of ‘liberating mission’
  5. evaluate situations and experiences of intercultural dialogue and gospel inculturation
  6. demonstrate an ability for personal critical reflection in terms of a spirituality for mission in today’s world


1500 word tutorial paper (30%); 4500 word essay (70%)



Bevans, Stephen B., and Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, eds. Contextual Theology for the Twenty-First Century. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2011.

Gallagher, Robert L., and Paul Hertig, eds. Landmark Essays in Mission and World Christianity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2009.

Gittins, A. Ministry at the Margins: Strategy and Spirituality for Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2002.

Grenham, Thomas G. The Unknown God: Religious and Theological Inculturation. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2005.

Groody, Daniel. Globalisation, Spirituality and Justice. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2007.

Hall, Gerald, and Joan Hendiks, eds. Dreaming a New Earth. Melbourne: Mosaic Press, 2012.

Oborji, Francis A. Concepts of Mission: The Evolution of Contemporary Missiology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2006.

Pocock, M. The Changing Faces of World Missions: Engaging Contemporary Issues and Trends. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

Pui-lan, K., ed. Hope Abundant: Third World and Indigenous Women’s Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1998.

Scherer, James A., and Stephen Bevans, eds. Faith and Culture. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1999.

Smith, Susan. Women in Mission: From the New Testament to Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2010.

Tan, Jonathan Y. Christian Mission among the Peoples of Asia. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2014.

Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1997.