Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, which reflects the standard volume of learning for a unit in a University qualification of this Australian Qualifications Framework type.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates of programs in Ignatian Spirituality should develop knowledge and skills in this discipline and be able to reflect critically on the ways in which their personal development impacts upon their various roles. In this unit, participants will explore Ignatian mystical spirituality as a resource for the construction of religious narratives that contribute to intentional, social transformation in a secular context. They will also develop an understanding of the evolution of religious and cultural recognition of the autonomous rights of indigenous peoples. The aim of this unit is for participants to develop a transdisciplinary approach to ecological, social, cultural and ecclesial reconciliation.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify the principles of Ignatian mystical spirituality and apply them in the construction of an intentional religious narrative that contributes to social transformation in a secular context (GA6);

LO2 - Apply their knowledge of recognition, vulnerability and transitional justice theory to their own ministry and context (GA2);

LO3 - Propose a transdisciplinary approach to ecological, social, cultural and ecclesial reconciliation (GA3; GA6). 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account


Topics will include:

  • Theologies of reconciliation and forgiveness;
  • Reconciliation and forgiveness in contemporary contexts;
  • Ignatian spirituality as an inspiration for justice;
  • Narratives of social transformation;
  • Recognition theory and transitional justice;
  • Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools;
  • Australian Indigenous Reconciliation

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

THSP607 will be delivered in multi-mode, that is, in various combinations of face to face and mediated learning environments, utilising strategies which may include:

  • Self-directed activities (such as completing scaffolded reading tasks or web-based exercises) which enable each student to build a detailed understanding of a topic;
  • Small-group tasks and activities (such as contributing to discussion forums or undertaking peer review) which enable students to test, critique, expand and evaluate their understandings; 
  • Plenary seminars and webinars which enable students to link their understandings with larger frameworks of knowledge and alternative interpretations of ideas;
  • Practical or fieldwork activities which enable students to rehearse skills necessary to the discipline and to be mentored in that practice;
  • Critically reflective activities (such as a guided Examen or private journal-writing) which assist students to learn reflexively, that is, to identify their affective responses to the learning and to integrate their learning with action
  • The unit is delivered with the expectation that participants are adult learners, intrinsically motivated and prepared to reflect critically on issues as well as on their own learning and perspectives.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete all assessment tasks and achieve an overall minimum grade of pass. All assessment tasks are designed for students to show their achievement of each learning outcome and graduate attribute. They require students to demonstrate the nexus between their learning, dispositions, and spiritual practice, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Paper Proposal (300 words) with Annotated Bibliography (1200 words, including 10-15 bibliographical references). This task is designed to provide students with the opportunity to read widely in order to identify a relevant research question or problem for further research.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA3, GA6

Seminar Presentation (15 minutes, equiv. 1500 words). This task is designed to enable students to present their research question to their peers and develop their ideas through discussion and feedback.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA3, GA6

Essay (3000 words plus bibliography, on the approved topic). This task is designed to enable students to apply a relevant, critical methodology to their research question, and formulate and support a well-defined thesis statement with a reasoned argument and evaluated evidence.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA3, GA6

Representative texts and references

Butler, Judith, Zeynep Gambetti, and Leticia Sabsay, eds. Vulnerability in Resistance. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

Calhoun, Craig, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan Van Antwerpen, eds. Rethinking Secularism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Coutinho, Paul. An Ignatian Pathway: Experiencing the Mystical Dimension of the Spiritual Exercises. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2011.

Fraser, Nancy. Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Honneth, Axel. The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.

Haers, Jacques, Hans Van Leeuwen, and Mark Rotsaert, eds. The Lord of Friendship: Friendship, Discernment and Mission in Ignatian Spirituality. Oxford: Way Publishing, 2011.

Hayner, Priscilla B. Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions. 2nd Ed. New York: Routledge, 2011.

McGrath, Alister E. Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification. 3rd Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Ricoeur, Paul. The Course of Recognition, trans. David Pellauer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Saarinen, Risto. Recognition and Religion: A Historical and Systematic Study. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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