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    An exploration of the role of the arts in expressing, shaping, nourishing and critiquing Christian faith and theology.

    About this paper

    Paper title Christian Theology and the Arts
    Subject Pastoral Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One 200-level PAST paper
    MINS 414
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology
    Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.

    Academic Liaison: Professor Murray Rae -

    Teaching staff

    Dr Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin

    Paper Structure

    This paper will cover 6 topics:

    • The emergence of ‘art’ and its divorce from religion
    • Modern art and the quest for the spiritual
    • Religious references in contemporary art
    • Protestantism, iconoclasm and ‘neo-Calvinist’ aesthetics
    • Art, affective experience and embodied meaning
    • Art in society, socially engaged art, art and church


    • Classroom Participation
    • One Essay
    Teaching Arrangements

    The paper will be taught as a five-day compulsory intensive block course in Dunedin from Monday 13 February to Friday 17 February.


    There is no textbook for this paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary Perspective, Global Perspective, Cultural Understanding, Critical Thinking Information Literacy, Research Skills, Self-Motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    In order to pass this course, students at 300 level must demonstrate that they have achieved all of the following learning outcomes:

    • Be able to identify different strands of Christian thinking about the relation between faith and art and understand some of their underlying theological and philosophical presuppositions and assumptions
    • Develop a hermeneutical framework for the interpretation of art including its religious dimensions
    • Understand the central role of the body and the senses in the making and receiving of art
    • Develop awareness of art’s role in society, including socially engaged art and art in church


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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