Australian Indigenous Ministries

Theological Education in Indigenous Context: The Story So Far

Presentation Abstract

While there is a growing awareness surrounding the importance of developing theological training that is inclusive of the context and cultural realities of the learners, the Western paradigm for theological education, even in non-Western contexts, is still regarded as the standard. Theological education in post-colonial countries is primarily a replication of Western-based models. As a consequence, there is a mismatch between a still Eurocentric theological education and the Indigenous learners’ experiences and needs. This paper investigates the historical narrative of theological education amongst Indigenous Australians. It considers the implications of that narrative for the contemporary practice of theological education in post-colonial Australia, specifically in the context of Indigenous learners. Drawing upon a broad overview of the themes in my doctoral thesis, I argue that privileging Eurocentric theological knowledge and methods raises the issue of injustice and oppression. The paper concludes with a suggestion to move away from traditional approaches that treat Western theological discourses as normative and consider the possibility of doing theological education informed by people whose theological experiences and knowledge have been placed in the margins.


Teaching & Learning (D.3)