Teaching organisationThis unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures and tutorials, and may involve video-conferencing and online interaction. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.
Unit rationale, description and aim
The Catholic Church provides the ecclesial context and tradition for many students at Australian Catholic University as well as for the University itself. This unit will help students explore significant aspects of the history of Catholicism in Australia, such as the development of Catholic education systems, the involvement of Catholics in the split in the Australian Labor Party in the 1950's, and the changes which took place in the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Students will hone their skills in critical reflection and their ability to analyse historical evidence and evaluate differing viewpoints. Overall, the aim of this unit is to encourage a mature understanding of Australian Catholic history and, with this, the ability to contextualise the contemporary character and life of the Church in Australia.
On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:
LO1 - Communicate effectively key developments in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia (GA5).
LO2 - Critically evaluate evidence from primary sources and different interpretations of Australian Catholic history in secondary sources (GA4, GA5, GA8)
LO3 - Research a particular aspect of Australian Catholic history and present the results in essay format, highlighting the significance of the chosen topic for Australian Catholicism today (GA4, GA5, GA8).
GA4 - think critically and reflectively
GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession
GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information
Topics will include:
- The study of Australian Catholic history
- The foundation and development of the Catholic Church in Australia: Benedictine, Irish and Roman influences
- Catholic schools and religious congregations
- The Church and Indigenous Australians
- Sectarianism before and after World War I
- World War II, anti-communism and the ALP schism
- Post-war migration and shifts in spirituality
- The impact of the Second Vatican Council on Australian Catholicism
- Change and continuity in the Catholic Church in the late twentieth-century
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures and tutorials and may involve video-conferencing and online interaction. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.
This unit is normally offered in multimode or attendance mode, with either synchronous online tutorials or face-to-face classes. Primary source documents, the raw material of history, are a particular focus of this unit so students will be able to hone their ability to analyse evidence and different interpretations of historical developments. They will be encouraged to think critically and reflectively and to be self-directed. They will be able to research topics which are relevant to their life situations, as well as share their learning with one another.
Assessment strategy and rationale
The assessment strategy is designed to help students develop skills in historical research and demonstrate their achievement of the unit learning outcomes. Such skills include the ability to analyse historical sources and different interpretations of historical developments; to ask questions and explore possible answers; to critically evaluate the significance of certain developments; to concisely and fluently convey the results of research and reflection; and to develop and defend a valid argument.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes||Graduate Attributes|
Introductory written task:
For example, an online forum post (500 words) which requires students to communicate effectively key developments in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia
For example, an annotated bibliography (1200 words) which enables students to demonstrate they can critically evaluate primary and secondary sources.
GA4, GA5, GA8
Longer written task:
For example, a research essay (2000 words) in which students demonstrate knowledge and skills appropriate to the discipline of history and critically reflect on the contemporary relevance of their chosen aspect of Australian Catholic history.
GA4, GA5, GA8
Representative texts and references
Boland, T. P. James Duhig. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 1986.
Breward, Ian. History of the Churches in Australasia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Campion, Edmund. Australian Catholics. Melbourne: Viking, 1987.Duncan, B. F. Crusade or Conspiracy: Catholics and the Anti-Communist Struggle in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2001.
Massam, Katharine. Sacred Threads: Catholic Spirituality in Australia 1922-1962. Sydney: University of NSW Press, 1996.
Niall, Brenda. Mannix. Melbourne: Text Publishing Company, 2015.
O'Donoghue, T. A. Upholding the Faith: The Process of Education in Catholic Schools in Australia, 1922-65. History of Schools and Schooling v. 24. New York: P. Lang, 2001.
O'Farrell, Patrick James. The Catholic Church and Community: An Australian History. 3rd. rev. ed. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 1992.
Ormerod, Neil, Ormond Rush, David Pascoe, Clare Johnson and Joel Hodge (eds).Vatican II: Reception and Implementation in the Australian Church. Melbourne: Garratt Publishing, 2012.
Turner, Naomi. Catholics in Australia: A Social History. 2 vols. Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1992.