Art, Ideology and Doctrine, 400-1000

Subject 670-337 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first year English.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Bernard Muir

Subject Overview:

The subject will examine artistic developments in the context of a Christian intellectual, philosophical and theological framework, while at the same time focussing on the implementation and adaptation of late Classical and native European stylistic traditions to emergent Christian art. Each week the lecture will focus on an ideological or doctrinal issue, or on an interpretative strategy, and the related tutorial will examine how these work themselves out in the artistic tradition. The issues focussed on will include: the fourfold system of interpretation; Typology; Creation; Angelology; the Incarnation; the Virgin Birth; Redemption; the Harrowing of Hell; Primogeniture; Paradise; the Resurrection; Time and Eternity; the Trinity; the Exodus; the Flood; and the Fall and Atonement; Sin and Evil, other similar related issues will also be considered.

Objectives: students who complete this subject will have an understanding of the Classical background to medieval art and iconography;
be aware of how dominant ideologies have informed Western art;
be familiar with major Christian credal and doctrinal issues;
be able to identify and characterise schools of early medieval art;
understand the cultural context in which major representative works of art were produced;
be aware of the development of the book and of the politics of the book and other written documents in the Middle Ages.

An essay of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester) and a second essay of 2000 words 50% (due at the end of semester). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

  • City of God (St Augustine, H Bettenson (trans)), Penguin 1984
  • MS Junius 11 (B Muir), (CD Rom)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have learned how to frame and develop a cohesive and compelling argument;

  • have learned how to plan a research project;

  • have learned how to communicate the outcomes of their research in seminar presentations.


This subject may be included in a major in Classics or Classical Studies and Archaeology.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major
European Studies

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