Elective unit, Intensive

1st semester 9:00am-4:00pm, Sat & Sun 30, 31 March, 4, 5, 18, 19 May

Crosslisted as Spirituality DS9010Y          (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. recognise 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 our contemporary scientifically-oriented society
6. propose and evaluate a way of engaging Christian identity with broad, diffuse spirituality in contemporary culture

Analysis of major ideas and issues presented in article/s chosen by the lecturer 2000 words (30%); essay on a topic related to the student’s ministry or experience which looks at the challenges facing Church members in meeting the needs of the varying groups in our communities 4000 words (70%)

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

Cowdell, Scott. God’s Next Big Thing: Discovering the Future Church. Mulgrave: Garratt Publishing, 2004.

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 Press, 2007.

Mackay, Hugh. Beyond Belief: How we Find Meaning, With or Without Religion. Sydney: Macmillan, 2016.

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

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

Ranson, David. Across the Great Divide: Bridging Religion and Spirituality Today. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2002.

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

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

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

Tickle, Phyllis. The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. Michigan, MI: Baker Books, 2008.

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

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