An exploration of the liturgical traditions of various regions and communities in Egypt in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages through a close reading of sources in translation. In this course, students are exposed to the diversity in liturgical prayers and practices in the Egyptian liturgical realm, including sources from Northern Egypt, Southern Egypt, Scetis, Sinai, as well as both Coptic and Melkite texts. Emphasis is placed on the diversity of liturgical expression and unity of theology across various regions and communities.

Unit code: DL1450A

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Liturgy

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


State the historical context of Egyptian Christianity in late antiquity and the middle ages in which the Egyptian liturgical traditions flourished.


Demonstrate some understanding of primary sources of the liturgies of Egypt


Engage in informed reflection on the diversity of liturgical expression practised throughout Egypt in different regions, epochs and across communities.


Reflect on theological themes found in the various liturgical texts of Egyptian provenance in relation to their historical and dogmatic milieu.

Unit sequence

An intermediate unit in Coptic Liturgy. An introductory unit in Coptic Liturgy is recommended but not required


The unit will engage students in analysis and theological reflection through the presentation of lectures, readings and engaging discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Atanassova, Diliana, “The Primary Sources of Southern Egyptian Liturgy: Retrospect and Prospect.” In Rites and Rituals of the Christian East: Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy. Edited by Bert Groen et al, pages 47-96. Eastern Christian Studies 22 (Leuven and Lebanon: Eastern Christian Studies), 2014.
  • Brakmann, Heinzgerd. “New Discoveries and Studies in the Liturgy of the Copts (2004–2012).” In Coptic Society, Literature and Religion From Late Antiquity to Modern Times: Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies, Rome, September 17th –22nd, 2012 and Plenary Reports of the Ninth International Congress of Coptic Studies, Cairo, September 15th–19th, 2008. Edited by Paola Buzi, Alberto Camplani and Federico Contardi, pages 457–481. Vol. 1, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 247. (Leuven: Peeters), 2016.
  • Cuming, Geoffrey J. The Liturgy of St Mark: Edited from the Manuscripts with a Commentary. Orientalia Christiana Analecta 234. (Rome: Pontificium Institutum Studiorum Orientalium), 1990.
  • Johnson, Maxwell E., The Prayers of Sarapion of Thmuis: A Literary, Liturgical and Theological Analysis. Orientalia Christiana Analecta 24. (Rome: Orientalia Christiana Analecta), 1995.
  • Mikhail, Maged S.A. From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity and Politics after the Arab Conquest. (London: I.B. Tauris), 2014. (recommended for purchase)
  • Mikhail, Ramez. “Sources for the Study of Coptic Liturgy”. Unpublished.
  • Radle, Gabriel. “Uncovering the Alexandrian Greek Rite of Marriage: The Liturgical Evidence of Sinai NF/MG 67 (9th/10th c.).” Ecclesia Orans 28 (2011): 49–73.
  • Swanson, Mark N. The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt (641-1517). The Popes of Egypt 2. (Cairo: AUC Press), 2010.
  • Taft, Robert, F. “Worship on Sinai Peninsula in the First Christian Millennium: Glimpses of a Lost World.” in Approaching the Holy Mountain: Art and Liturgy at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. Edited by Sharon E.J. Gerstel and Robert S. Nelson, pages 143–177. (Turnhout: Brepols), 2010.
  • Zanetti, Ugo, “Bohairic Liturgical Manuscripts.” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 61 (1995): 65–94.
  • Zheltov, Michael, “The Anaphora and the Thanksgiving Prayer from the Barcelona Papyrus: An Underestimated Testimony to the Anaphoral History in the Fourth Century.” Vigiliae Christianae 62 (2008): 467–504. Selected texts from the Sahidic Great Euchologion of the White Monastery.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

2000 word essay

2000 50.0

1000 word essay

1000 25.0

1000 word forum

1000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 2 May, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-05-02 12:32:59 +1000