This unit studies the origins and growth of Christian art by exploring ways in which liturgy and devotions in the early church found expression in visual culture. Themes and topics to be presented will include: the art of the catacombs; the centrality of monasticism and of the city of Constantinople in Eastern Christianity; the mosaics of Ravenna and Rome; the emergence of new art forms such as the icon; the iconoclastic controversy; the impact of Byzantine art and architecture in the medieval West e.g. Monreale in Norman Sicily and San Marco in Venice.

Unit Code: CH9012Y

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning Outcomes


Identify the central iconographic themes of Early Christian and Byzantine art


Demonstrate ability to use vocabulary of visual analysis and historical inquiry in written communication at a more advanced level


Show a sophisticated understanding of the various lenses (historical, ideological, spiritual) through which the interpreter views visual images


Engage in critical analysis of a variety of methodological perspectives of art historical scholarship


Display sophisticated capacity to analyse and synthesise research material and to express findings coherently in written form

Unit sequence

This unit is generally available as an elective unit in all post-graduate awards


Lectures, class discussion


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Material Culture Analysis (identification and description of artefacts)

Material Culture Analysis 2000 words

2000 30.0

Essay 5000 words

5000 70.0

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

Unit Record last updated: 2019-11-18 14:41:53 +1100