This unit analyses visual sources that represent women in the late Medieval and Early Modern era (between 1300 and 1700). Images of women in a variety of media (e.g. painting, prints, sculpture) will be examined to explore how visual images together with texts and the liturgy helped create the ways in which women (and men) lived their faith. In addition to studying visual images of women, we will also consider the historical role of women, both lay and religious as patrons and audiences of visual images. Our study unfolds against the background of such movements as the emergence of a distinctive female spirituality in the Late Middle ages and the upheavals of the Reformation in the Early Modern period.

Unit Code: CH9210Y

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 some of the iconographic themes related to the representation of women in the Christian tradition c. 1300-1700 (e.g Eve and other women of the Old Testament, Mary, the Mother of God and female saints).


Describe and analyse art works in various media created in the periods studied


Evaluate critically the concept of gender as a category for understanding how the visual and religion intersected to influence representations of women c. 1300 – 1700?


Distinguish some of the methods (iconographic, contextual, etc.) that art historians use to interpret visual art


Construct, present and defend an argument based on a critical analysis of historical sources, both material and textual


Lectures, tutorials, class visit to the National Gallery of Victoria


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Written visual and iconographic description and analysis of a painting or sculpture. 1000 words

0 20.0
Oral Presentation

Fifteen minute oral presentation describing and analysing a work chosen in consultation with the instructor. This oral report counts as 1000 words

0 20.0

4000 word research essay

0 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Aug, 2014

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-29 13:16:34 +1100