History of Christianity in Australia

This unit examines the history of the Christian churches in Australia, from their colonial beginnings until the present time. It covers the reproduction of old world denominational traditions in the antipodes, aboriginal Christianity; revivalism on the gold fields and elsewhere, sectarian tension between Catholics and Protestants, “Wowserism” and social reform, Protestant liberals and conservatives in conflict, British and American influences on the Australian churches, the advent of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic renewal movement, Ecumenism and church union proposals, and the effect of immigration on the makeup of denominations.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points



9 credit points in Church History.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. give an overview of the history of Christianity in Australia, identifying the key turning points and milestones in its story
  2. identify the key events, personalities, and issues that have significantly shaped the development of the churches’ place in Australian society
  3. demonstrate skills in responsible historical research
  4. be aware of questions about the validity or otherwise of historical interpretations
  5. value the contribution that historical perspective makes to the church‘s contemporary self-understanding and mission.
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