A Message Wrapped in Words

This page contains a video of an interview with Dr Margaret Carswell (PhD) who is a Senior Lecturer at Australian Catholic University. She was an advisor to the Texts and Teachers project.

Carswell takes an academic and disciplinary approach to the study of sacred texts, In her work she has critiqued a number of RE programs which fall short of the hermeneutical expectations of scholarly study which the Catholic Church has committed to in its statement on the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church.

These studies can be found in her thesis which is available online:

  • Carswell, M. F. (2006). Biblical metaphors for God in the primary level of the education series To Know Worship and Love (Thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from

There are two articles which contain her further research on this theme. The abstracts are free online to read and give some idea of her conclusions:

  • Margaret Carswell (2018) Promoting fundamentalist belief? How scripture is presented in three religious education programmes in Catholic primary schools in Australia and England and Wales, British Journal of Religious Education, 40:3, 288-297, DOI: 10.1080/01416200.2018.1493271 ( )
  • Carswell, M. (2018). Teaching scripture: Moving towards a hermeneutical model for religious education in Australian Catholic Schools. Journal of Religious Education, 66(3), 213–223 ( )


  • Teach Scripture is a website designed specifically for teachers in Catholic Primary Schools to enable teachers to teach Scripture – not just use it – using the composite Model. ( )
  • Her section of the 2020 Texts and Teachers Practice Guide contains an outline of the LAaSMO method, which is one way of taking the scripture scholarship into classroom practice.