Students who have completed Coptic Art & Iconography I, will further develop their skills in this more advanced unit which will focus on a deeper study of the theological meaning behind the icon and developing advanced technique and design skills.

Unit code: DL9410A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Liturgy

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate at an advanced level the nature and aims of icons in the Coptic tradition.


Demonstrate the capacity to research a specific icon in a critically rigorous, sustained, and self-directed manner.


Analyse the technical issues related to iconography.


Demonstrate fundamental practical iconographical skills such as panel preparation, design, gilding, and colouring.


Apply skills of critical theological expression through different iconographical depictions.

Unit sequence

Coptic Art & Iconography I


This unit takes on a multimodal approach that combine theological and artistic inquiry through face-to-face practical, online theory and 1:1 teaching to improve, develop and refine student artistic skill in order to complete a narrative icon.

Indicative Bibliography

  1. Abo El-Yamin, A., H. Mahmoud, and A. Brania. "Analytical study of Coptic wall paintings in Egypt." El-Bagawat necropolis, Kharga Oasis: A case study, Periodico di Mineralogia 82, no. 1 (2013): 25-40.
  2. Andreopoulos, Andreas. Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theology and Iconography. New York: SVS Press, 2005.
  3. Anderson, David, trans. St. John of Damascus: On the Divine Images. New York: SVS Press, 2000.
  4. Atalla S, Nabil. Coptic Icons I. Cairo: Lehnert and Landrock, 1998.
  5. Atalla S, Nabil. Coptic Icons II. Cairo: Lehnert and Landrock, 1998.
  6. Badawy, Alexander. Coptic art and archaeology: The art of the Christian Egyptians from the Late Antique to the Middle Ages. MIT Press, 1978.
  7. Bolman, Elizabeth S. "The enigmatic Coptic Galaktotrophousa and the cult of the Virgin Mary in Egypt." In Images of the Mother of God, pp. 69-78. Routledge, 2017.
  8. Boojamra, John. Foundations for Orthodox Christian Education. New York: SVS Press, 1989.
  9. Evdokimov, Paul. The Art of the Icon: A Theology of Beauty. New York: SVS Press, 1990.
  10. Finnestad, Ragnhild. "Images as Messengers of Coptic Identity. An Example from Contemporary Egypt". Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 16 (1996): 91-110.
  11. Gabra, Gawdat, and Marianne Eaton-Krauss, eds. The Treasures of Coptic Art: In the Coptic Museum and Churches of Old Cairo. Amer Univ in Cairo Press, 2006.
  12. Margaret Jensen, Robin. Understanding Early Christian Art. USA: Routledge, 2013.
  13. Moussa, A., B. Christaras, J. Stratis, and M. Ali. "Deterioration factors of Coptic wall paintings in Al Qurna and Wadi El Natrun—Egypt." In Proceedings of the 7th European Commission supported conference ‘Safeguarded Cultural Heritage: Understanding and Viability for the Enlarged Europe’, Prague, 31 May–2 June 2006. 2006.
  14. Moussa, Helene. "Icon of St. Mena, St. Mark’s Coptic Museum: Akhmim Style?." Journal of the Canadian Society for Coptic Studies 3 (2012): 103-122.
  15. Nouwen, Henri J.M. Behold the beauty of the Lord. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1996.
  16. Ouspensky, Leonid. Theology of the Icon. Translated by Anthony Gythiel. New York: SVS Press, 1992.
  17. Ouspensky, Leonid, Vladimir Nikolaevič Losskij, and Vladimir Lossky. The Meaning of Icons. New York: SVS Press, 1982.
  18. Quenot, Michael. The Resurrection and the Icon. New York: SVS Press, 1997.
  19. Roth, Catherine, trans. Theodore the Studite: On the Holy Icons. New York: SVS Press, 1981.
  20. Sayed, Gawdat Gabra Abdel, Gawdat Gabra, and Tim Vivian. Coptic Monasteries: Egypt’s Monastic Art and Architecture. Oxford University Press, 2002.
  21. Sendler, Egon. The Icon, Image of the Invisible: Elements of Theology, Aesthetics, and Technique. Redondo Beach. CA: Oakwood Publications, 1988.
  22. Török, László. "Strzygowski's Coptic Art." Acta Historiae Artium Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 47, no. 1-4 (2006): 305-311.
  23. Tsakiridou, C. A. Icons in Time, Persons in Eternity: Orthodox Theology and the Aesthetics of the Christian Image. Ashgate Publishing, 2013.
  24. Van Loon, Gertrud JM. The gate of heaven: wall paintings with Old Testament scenes in the altar room and the H̱ūrus of Coptic churches. Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, 1999.
  25. Vrame, Anton C. The Educating Icon: Teaching Wisdom and Holiness in the Orthodox Way. Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1999.
  26. Zuntz, Dora. "The Two Styles of Coptic Painting." The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 21, no. 1 (1935): 64-67.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 3000 40.0
Skill Demonstration 3500 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 23 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-23 14:14:31 +1000