Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

5EG502 Egyptian religion 7.5 hp

The course is the second course in Egyptology A (30 hp) and is also part of the Bachelor programme. The course provides you with an overview of the ancient Egyptian religion.

This course will introduce you to the basic principles, meaning, and interpretation of ancient Egyptian religion by examining the structures of the divine world and the religious practice. You will learn about the different gods, their characteristics and iconography, and how the network of deities created and maintained the world.

The course considers how different members of society could practice religion and approach the gods, both privately and in established cults. The functions of the temple, as a place for worship, a school, and an administrative centre will also be discussed, as well as the roles of priests and the king in maintaining the order of the world. You will learn about the funerary process and what it involved, including the mummification process, rituals, objects and the funerary cult.

Your studies will be based on regular attendance of lectures, combined with independent study using the University’s library resources and hand-outs provided by the lecturer. You will become familiar with the various sources which provide us with evidence of religious activities and structures, which will include the architecture of temples and tomb constructions, art, human remains, and textual sources. We will examine the written evidence, in translation, from different time periods and discuss it in class. You will come to understand the significance and symbolism of representations of gods and the divine in art, as well as objects which were used in religious activities.