In addition to the arts entertaining, challenging and provoking responses and enriching our knowledge of self, communities, world cultures and histories, they are also a vehicle through which peoples' religious beliefs are communicated and maintained across generations.

The arts reveal the locus of a faith tradition and an embodiment of religious practice, also serving as texts of Christian theology (Viladesau 2000 p. 124). The arts are important to the history of theology and are a way of reflecting on the ideas and values which constitute theology. The arts also provide a unique prospect for gaining insight into the nature and function of religion in ways that may not otherwise be available to those who study religion and the arts as separate entities.

Religions communicate not only through their scripture and theological writings, their institutions, movements and ethical practices but also through their rites, poetry, architecture, music, paintings and sculptures. In a concrete way, the arts provide a vivid and accurate sense of religion as it is lived, imagined and felt by its adherents.

Through non-discursive language, the artist is able to find or create the expressive equivalent of an idea, a feeling or an image within the material with which s/he works. The material becomes the public embodiment: a medium, in the literal sense of the word: through which the life of feeling is shared. The arts are not a second-class substitute for expression; they are one of the major means people throughout history have used both to conceptualise and express what has been inexpressible in discursive terms (Eisner, 1985a, p. 200).