This unit explores some of the tensions that surface between representatives of disciplines broadly gathered under the umbrella labels: the Arts, the Sciences and Theology. Various bi-lateral and tri-lateral conversations will be stimulated by critical attention to the formative ideas of artists and art critics, scientists and mathematicians, and theologians and philosophers. This unit questions the apparent inevitability of such inter-disciplinary tensions, and rests on the premise that there is an urgent need for Christian apologists to develop the kind of skills that enable them to broker inter-disciplinary dialogues.

Unit code: CT9035W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a clear understanding of the central questions that Christian apologists must address in order to make their own creative contribution to conversations with and between artists and scientists


Critique major fault lines between particular disciplines, and demonstrate an understanding of some of the strategies that enable creative dialogue


Evaluate some of the inter-disciplinary conflicts that have arisen when the ideas of respected thinkers in the fields of science, art and theology have come into contact


Demonstrate competence in researching an emerging theme and developing a theological response.

Unit sequence

48 points of foundation units


This unit will include lecturers, seminar papers and examination of documents. There will be engagement with a museum visit alongside examination of theological documents.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Ball, Philip. Patterns in Nature: Why the Natural World Looks the Way it Does. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2016.
  • Begbie, Jeremy. Ed. Beholding the Glory: Incarnation Through the Arts. London: DLT, 2000.
  • Davies, Paul. God and the New Physics. London: Penguin, 2006.
  • Gage, John. Colour and Meaning: Art, Science and Symbolism. London: Thames & Hudson, 1999.
  • Hawking, Stephen. Brief History of Time: from big bang to black holes, updated edition. London: Bantam Press, 2011.
  • Lamb, Trevor & Bourriau, Janine, eds, Colour, Art & Science. Cambridge: CUP, 1995.
  • Kandinsky, Wassily. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. New York: Dover Publications, 1977, first published in English, 1914.
  • Mc Grath, Alsiter & McGrath Joanna. The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine. London: SPCK, 2007.
  • Polkinghorne, John. Science and Religion in Quest for Truth. London: SPCK, 2011.
  • Seife, Charles. Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea. London: Souvenir Press, 2000.
  • Williams, Rowan. The Edge of Words: God and the Habits of Language. London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 4000 words

4000 40.0

Portfolio 2000 words

2000 30.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Tutorial Paper 2000 words

2000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-11 12:05:10 +1100