UWTSD Short Course explores Egyptian Cultural Astronomy


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is offering a short course for those interested in Egyptian Cultural Astronomy.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is offering a short course for those interested in Egyptian Cultural Astronomy.

The ‘Introduction to Egyptian Cultural Astronomy’ short course will be delivered by the University’s Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture and the Sophia Centre Press. The online programme will run for five weeks every Wednesday evening from the 11 August.

Course tutor, Dr. Bernadette Brady, commented:

“Egyptian cultural astronomy is more than the Sun, gold and pyramids. It is also the Moon and silver, the blue of the sky, notions of circular time, the never-ending working stars, the ever-changing non-divine planets, and a collection of calendars, all of which created a unique but shifting sky-view that ran for over three thousand years.

The Sun, stars and Moon were interwoven with the Egyptians' view of divine order, Ma'at, and they were represented in funeral objects, texts and temple motifs in different ways over the long history of Pharaonic Egypt.

This course presents the Egyptian sacred sky as it appears on ceilings, coffin lids and in jewellery, and provides you with an overview of the role of the sky in Egyptian cultural astronomy."

Dr Bernadette Brady holds a PhD in Anthropology (2012), MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology (2005) and a Certificate in Egyptology from Manchester University (2020). She is currently a lecturer on the online Master of Arts in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology for the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK. Bernadette was the course director for the 2019 Bloomsbury Summer School in Luxor on Egyptian Cultural Astronomy and has lectured widely on this subject.

Dr Brady continued:

“The course begins with the Old Kingdom, the pyramids and the Egyptian notion of soul and the northern stars, and follows this star focus through to the diagonal star clock of the Middle Kingdom. The dominance of Ra (the Sun god)in the New Kingdom, is explored, along with the magnificent astronomical ceilings and the solar cult of Akhenaten. The course concludes with the Ptolemaic temples, where the Greek zodiac was blended with Egyptian astronomical images and ideas.”

The Sophia Centre has already had a busy summer after launching a new publication, Mattering the Invisible: Technologies, Bodies and the Realm of the Spectral, edited by Diana Espirito Santo and Dr Jack Hunter, at the beginning of June.  Associate Professor Nick Campion, Director of the Sophia Centre, added:

“We have an exciting range of activities with eminent international speakers and contributors. The Centre’s work is partly historical, partly anthropological and partly philosophical. It has a wide-ranging remit to investigate the role of cosmological, astronomical and astrological beliefs, models and ideas in human culture, including the theory and practice of myth, magic, divination, religion, spirituality, architecture, politics and the arts. Our work considers the ways in which people have tried to live in harmony with the cosmos."

The seminars will be held on a Wednesday at 16:00 – 18:00 BST (UK summer time). The first seminar is Wednesday 11 August 2021 and then every Wednesday to 8 September 2021.

The short course is part of a series offered by the Sophia Centre.  Further information, full details of the lectures and registration details may be found on the Sophia Centre webpages.

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 07384 467076 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk