Gospel, Church and Australian Culture

In post-Christian Australia, Christians must become missionaries in their own nation, but how might our culture shape the way the gospel is told?

This subject pushes students to see, perhaps for the first time, the thick cultural lenses through which we view the world. It also challenges us to see the way our understanding of the gospel is framed by our history, background and socio-cultural environment. But far from posing a threat to the gospel we know and love, this new insight allows us to appreciate the richness of the gospel like never before and the capacity to bring it with new power to the Australian sub-cultures which we engage.

In this subject, students will seek to understand how the gospel speaks into and subverts different Australian sub-cultures, including suburban, battler, urban and first-generation immigrant cultures. Students will be given the opportunity to conduct ‘cultural exegesis’ in the field, to develop their skills in contextualisation.

This subject is about rethinking assumptions, developing greater cultural sensitivity and humility when approaching another culture, and forcing oneself to stop, look and listen: skills that will stay with you for life.

Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details

Mode Online  On-campus 
Workload  One semester, 12 credit points One semester, 12 credit points
Status  Elective Elective
Subject code EM030 EM030
Prerequisites  None None
Teacher  Tim Foster Chris Swann


  1. The Suburban Captivity of the Church

Section A: Culture

  1. Worldview, Culture and Cultural Narrative
  2. Field Trip: Analysis of the urban environment
  3. Urban Culture case Study
  4. Individual/Group Field Trip
  5. Presentations

Section B: Gospel

  1. What is the Gospel?
  2. Gospel Contextualisation
  3. Case study: Battlers
  4. Contextualisation Presentations

Section C: Church

  1. Evaluating our Operational Ecclesiologies
  2. Towards a Missional Ecclesiology

Study Expectations
In this subject, you can expect to be guided through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the topics covered in the syllabus. For online students, these usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Students should allow 10 hours of study time per week for this subject.


We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built.
Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
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