Students undertaking this unit will gain an appreciation of Coptic history and the theological meaning behind the icon. Emphasis will be placed on the "writing" of icons as an important method of translating the invisible divine, into the visible image. Students will study the important role of Coptic art in Coptic culture and its role in liturgical life. Finally, students will learn iconographic techniques such as preparation, design, colouring and gilding in the writing of an icon. They will explore the meaning, theology, and symbols rooted in the holy bible.

Unit code: DL1410A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Liturgy

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Write a coherent in-depth statement about the aims of icons in the Church.


Reflect thoughtfully on the role of the iconographer within the life of the Church.


Analyse the technical issues related to iconography.


Develop fundamental skills such as design, gilding and colouring.


Combination of lectures and practical classes

Indicative Bibliography

  • Boojamra, John., Foundations for Orthodox Christian Education, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, N.Y. 1989.
  • Nouwen, Henri J.M., Behold the beauty of the Lord. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1996.
  • Ouspensky, Leonid., (translated by Anthony Gythiel) Theology of the Icon, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: Crestwood, NY, 1992. (recommended for purchase)
  • St. John of Damascus (translated by David Anderson)., On the Divine Images.
  • St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: Crestwood, NY, 2000.
  • Vrame, Anton C. The Educating Icon: Teaching Wisdom and Holiness in the Orthodox Way. Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1999.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Paper 1500 words

1500 40.0

Preparation of an icon Equivalent of 2000 words

2000 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-22 13:38:32 +1000