Details for Theology and Popular Culture

Conservative Christian communities have long been suspicious of popular culture, encouraging people to be wary of the “sinema.”  It is increasingly apparent, however, that if the church is going be relevant in the modern world, it needs to find ways to engage with the mediums of popular culture; film, television, music and the internet.  This unit teaches students tools for interpreting pop culture texts, and encourages critical analysis.  It focuses particularly on film, but provides students the option of exploring other mediums. Teaching strategies include listening to podcast lectures and gathering together to watch and discuss films.  The unit will feel a little like a series of “nights-out” although beneath all the fun is some serious reflection on the culture within which we live and minister.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: THE510
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: U-Wen Low


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Theology and Popular Culture

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content

Curriculum Objective

This subject, which builds upon Christian Worldview, complements the study of doctrine with an explanation of the interrelationship between theology and culture, using the medium of film.


  1. Identify the ways in which the mediums of popular culture provide a window into the values and meanings contemporary life
  2. Apply hermeneutical tools for the purpose of understanding the meanings conveyed in film, television and contemporary music
  3. Discuss theological and ethical themes expressed through the various mediums of pop culture
  4. Design creative programs reviewing film, television and contemporary music

Subject Content

  1. Jesus movies
  2. Popular culture and what to watch
  3. Methods of interpretation
  4. Audience response and ideological critique
  5. Beauty, sex and nudity
  6. Violence and ideology
  7. Engaging with television
  8. Popular music
  9. Australian film

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (onsite)
  • Distance/E-learning (online)
  • Intensive (One week: 7 hours per day for 5 days = 35 class hours + approx 85 hours out of class time for research, writing, exam preparation and execution, ancillary activities associated with completion of assigned tasks)

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods

  • Forum Postings (20%)
  • Creative Project (30%)
  • Major Essay (50%)

Prescribed Text

  • Primary readings provided