Orthodox Spirituality

Introduction to Orthodox Spirituality

Course Code OS151

The general characteristics and features of Spirituality in a broad Orthodox sense are analysed, followed by a more specific study on the traits of Coptic spirituality and tradition. Key themes addressed (Scripturally and patristically) include prayer, discipleship, the relation between divine grace and spiritual warfare (struggle), catharsis (sanctification) and ascetism. 

Bohairic Coptic I

Course Code OS200

Students are acquainted with Coptic syntax, morphology and grammar in addition to building vocabulary. Other elements of this course are a brief overview of the historical development of the dialect, mentioning the fathers who wrote in Coptic also. The course should enable students to fluently read and understand the passage at hand generally


Bohairic Coptic II

Course Code OS240

The unit is divided into two parts. In the first, students further develop their skills and knowledge of the language as they become exposed to more advanced terminology and grammar. In the latter, they are required to draw on and apply all that they have learnt across the two units as they begin to look at Biblical passages, Liturgical texts (especially from the divine Liturgies and midnight night praises) and Coptic literature in general.

This course aims to help students understand more heavy language/linguistic structure, making them capable of translating passages from Coptic to either English or Arabic (depending on which they select).

(Pre-requisites – OS200 )

Sahidic Coptic

Course Code OS270

This course helps students build a strong foundation in the Upper Egyptian dialect in preparation for studying the Holy Scriptures and certain patristic literature. This unit is especially valuable for those seeking to read the Old Testament in Coptic, work on Coptic manuscripts or read the writings of fathers like St.Shenouda the Archimandrite.

Orthodox Greek I

Course Code OS280

Students will begin to learn Greek as a language in this course, with the emphasis being placed on preparing them to read the New Testament and the fathers. The various chapters will address topics such grammar and syntax in addition to helping them form a strong vocabulary.

Orthodox Greek II

Course Code OS290

Students continue building their vocabulary and enhance their knowledge of the language as they begin to look at Biblical passages, patristic literature and certain Liturgical texts. The course involves little research work, but there is a substantial amount of reading assignments that are set to be read and prepared for class discussions. Students are required to write a number of papers demonstrating their acquired knowledge towards the end of the semester.

(Pre-requisites – OS280  )

Contemporary Coptic spirituality

Course Code OS320

This unit introduces the main influential figures who played a dynamic inspirational role in Coptic Spirituality and thought in the 20th Century. A survey study of the previous century will be done while examining the life, acts and writings of nine spiritual towers selected for this course, highlighting each of their individual contribution to spirituality, religious teaching, theological education, monastic life, ecumenical work and more.

(pre-requisites – OS151)  

Coptic art and iconography

Course Code OS330

The theology of the icon is introduced in addition to an overview on the history of Coptic art and iconography and what influenced them, demonstrating throughout the different types and styles of Coptic art (icons mainly) from late Antiquity to modern times. Students also learn about the iconographer, the Liturgical use of icons and learn some basic techniques in iconography and Iota Cross drawing. The objectives are to spread “Coptic art appreciation” and build understanding of the theological and Biblical roots of the icon.

(pre-requisites – OS151, ST151)  

Coptic hymnology and music

Course Code OS340

An analytical study of musical structure, techniques and composition of Coptic music, investigating its Pharaonic roots and theology in the process. Students will be exposed to its different forms and the role of hymns in Liturgical worship. Some of the roles of contemporary persons who contributed to Coptic music will be studied also. Linguistic analysis to some of our Greek and Coptic hymns will be applied. Practical chanting techniques are not taught in this unit however.

(pre-requisites – OS151, LT151)  

Coptic architecture

Course Code OS380

Influences of Coptic architecture are introduced to provide hindsight to our modern Churches and monasteries. The various architectural forms, structures and elements over the course of history will be explored. Students will also learn about the symbolism and theology behind the various features.

(pre-requisites – OS151)