1st semester: Tuesday morning                                                                          (Min. No. 8)



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: Level 2: DT1330Y or equivalent; Level 3: DT1330Y or equivalent, plus one unit of Missiology at second Level


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. evaluate situations and experiences of intercultural dialogue and gospel inculturation
  4. demonstrate an ability for personal critical reflection in terms of a spirituality for mission in today’s world
  5. critically reflect on a selected aspect of ‘liberating mission’ (Level 3 only)


Level 2: 1000 word tutorial (30%); 3500 word essay (70%)

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



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

Bevans, Stephen, and Roger Schroeder. Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004.

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

Gorringe, Timothy. Furthering Humanity: A Theology of Culture. Burlington, MA: Ashgate, 2004.

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

Kraft, Charles H. Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991.

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.

Reynolds, Robyn. “Catholic sacrament engaging with Wadeye Culture.” PhD unpublished thesis. Darwin: Northern Territory University, 2000.

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

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