Theology and the Arts


This subject addresses the role of the arts as integral to Christian theology and life, both in classical and popular understanding, by exploring the ways in which theology and the arts mutually interpret each other to give a broader understanding of human life and of God. Attention is given to the role in theology, worship, and discipleship of the verbal, visual, performing and fine arts. Selected genres including, for example, literature, poetry, painting, sculpture, music, drama/theatre, architecture, photography and film are explored. The relationship between aesthetics and religious experience in the context of worship and discipleship, and the role of media and culture in the Christian Church, are also addressed.


One Semester


Semester 2 every even year

Subject Points




Delivery Mode

On site at St Francis College Milton; or Externally – log in to listen and participate or view the lecture via video later.



Viladesau, R., (2000). Theology and the Arts: Encountering God through Music, Art and Rhetoric. ISBN 9780809139279

Vrudny, K. & Wilson Y., (eds.), (2005), Arts, Theology and the Church: New Intersections. ISBN 9780829816518

The year of publication and ISBN given corresponds to the copy placed in Closed Reserve at the Roscoe Library; there may be other valid ISBNs that differ because of a different publisher or format. Please contact your lecturer or the Roscoe Library staff to confirm text before purchasing. If purchasing, we recommend that you use

Prescribed Texts

2 x Response/Reflection Papers 30%

Subject Forum Participation 20%

Major Essay/Project 50%



This subject will cover the following topics:

  • Culture, Christianity and the Arts

  • Theological and methodological considerations in the production and interpretation of art

  • Aesthetics and religious experience

  • The church and the arts

  • Ancient and contemporary global art forms: various and/or specific, e.g., film, music, architecture, theatre, photography and video, installations, literature, poetry

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the relationship between aesthetics and religious experience and expression;

  • be able to discuss critically the use of various and/or specific artistic media in the history of Christianity;

  • be able to discuss critically the contextual and theoretical frameworks within various and/or specific forms of art;

  • be able to apply theological interpretation to various and/or specific forms of art; and

  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including sound research, writing and communication skills.