THL256 Theology and the Arts (8)

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, dance/mime, 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.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL256. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed subject THL322.

Assumed Knowledge


Subject Relationships

THL322 This subject replaces THL322

Incompatible Subjects


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.


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., music, architecture, dance, theatre, photography and video, installations, literature, poetry

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL256 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
The traditional forms of religious art: a critique
Study day 1, report & discussion
Study day 2, report & discussion
The future of theological art & artistic theology

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: October 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.