This unit examines the place of visual culture, text and material artefacts as expressions of belief in the practice of Protestant Christianity. It draws on material objects, visual art and written text to explore ways in which they both reflect, and shape, beliefs and theological positions. Drawing on the socio-cultural and historical context of this material, the unit explores ways in which cultural artefacts and cultural memory can be used to engage with the spiritual lives of culturally diverse people in the schools, parishes and the wider community.

Unit code: AH2102P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: History

Delivery Mode: Intensive

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Identify a range of visual and written texts and artefacts which illuminate diverse theological positions.


Apply skills of historical interpretation to a range of primary sources


Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between cultural artefacts, identity and belief


Communicate an understanding of the significance of socio-cultural and historical context in the church and the academy


The unit will draw on social constructivist and experiential learning pedagogies and object based learning frameworks. Text analysis, small group and whole class discussion and activities and direct teaching will be employed as strategies.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Baxandall, Michael. Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1985.
  • Burke, Peter. Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence. London: Reaktion Books, 2001.
  • Burritt, Amanda. Visualising Britain’s Holy Land in the Nineteenth Century. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
  • Crumlin, Rosemary. Beyond Belief: Modern Art and the Religious Imagination. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1998.
  • Hahn, Hans Peter and Weiss, Hadas. Eds. Mobility, Meaning and the Transformations of Things: Shifting Contexts of Material Culture through Time and Space. Universität Frankfurt am Main; Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books, 2013.
  • Jones, Philip. Ochre and Rust: Artefacts and Encounters on Australian Frontiers. Kent Town, S.A: Wakefield Press, 2008.
  • Knappett, Carl. Thinking through Material Culture: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.
  • Lake, Meredith. The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History. Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2018.
  • MacGregor, Neil. Living With the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples. London: Allen Lane, 2018.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Document Study - Source Analysis 1200 30.0
Essay - Research Essay 1800 40.0
Oral Presentation 1000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 12 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-30 14:59:29 +1100