Copts in Modernity

Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium of Coptic Studies, Melbourne, 13-16 July 2018


Copts in Modernity presents a collection of essays – many of which contain unpublished archival material – showcasing historical and contemporary aspects pertaining to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The volume covers three main themes: The first theme, History, gathers studies that look back to the nineteenth and late eighteenth centuries to understand the realities of the twentieth and twenty-first; the second theme, Education, Leadership and Service, explores the role of religious education in the revival of the Church and how Coptic religious principles influenced the ideas of leadership and service that resulted in the Church’s spiritual revival; and the third theme, Identity and Material Culture, draws upon a broad range of material and visual culture to exemplify the role they play in creating and recreating identities. This volume brings together the work of senior and early career scholars from Australia, Europe, Egypt, and the United States.

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Lisa Agaiby, Ph.D., Macquarie University and Göttingen University, lectures in History and Coptic Studies at St. Athanasius College, University of Divinity Melbourne. Her latest publication is The Arabic Life of Antony Attributed to Serapion of Thmuis: Cultural Memory Reinterpreted (Brill, 2018).

Mark N. Swanson, Harold S. Vogelaar Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His publications on Egyptian church history and Copto-Arabic literature include The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt, 641-1517 (AUC Press, 2010).

Nelly van Dooren-Harder teaches Religion at Wake Forest University, NC. She has authored several publications on the contemporary Coptic Church, her latest includes the edited volume Copts in Context: Negotiating Identity, Tradition, and Modernity (University of South Carolina Press, 2017).
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Notes on Transliteration and Common Abbreviations

Lisa Agaiby, Mark Swanson and Nelly van Doorn-Harder

Part 1 History

1 The Ottoman Tanzimat Edict of 1856 and Its Consequences for the Christians of Egypt: The Rashomon Effect in Coptic History
Heather Sharkey

2 A Correspondence between Rome and Alexandria in the Middle Ages: An Example from the Eighteenth Century
Magdi Awad

3 A New Contribution to Understanding the Pastoral Care of Pope Peter VII (1809–1852)
Bigoul El-Suriany

4 Pope Mark VIII (1796–1809), the Author of Psalis for St. Mark
Youhanna N. Youssef

5 Printing the Medieval Copto-Arabic Heritage: From the ‘Golden Age’ to the Printed Page
Mark N. Swanson

6 The Coptic Papacy in the Twentieth Century and beyond: A Study of the Papal Selection Process in the Modern Era
Peter H. Cosman

Part 2 Education, Leadership, and Service

7 Habib Girgis: Reformer of Religious and Theological Education in the Coptic Orthodox Church
Bishop Suriel

8 An Example of Coptic Leadership and Patronage: Lay-Archon Louis Zikri Wissa and Sixty Years Commitment in the Sunday School Movement
Myriam Wissa

9 Bishop Samuel’s Ministry of Teaching and Serving: The Formative Years
Cherubim Saed and Nelly van Doorn-Harder

10 The Idea of Personal Ascetic Reform in Kyrillos VI (1902–1971)
Daniel Fanous

11 “Draughts of Love and Divine Revelations”: Experiential Theology in Matta Al-Miskīn and Fayek M. Ishak
Samuel Kaldas

12 A Multidimensional Understanding of Sunday School in the Coptic Orthodox Tradition
Michael Salib

13 Mother Irini’s Visions of Leadership: Pachomian Rule and Teaching of the Fathers
Nelly van Doorn-Harder

Part 3 Identity and Material Culture

14 “Sign of Martyrdom, Heresy and Pride”: The Christian Coptic Tattoo and the Construction of Coptic Identity
Nebojsa Tumara

15 The Cenotaph in the Cave Church of St. Paul the Hermit at the Red Sea: A Case Study of a Dream in the Twentieth Century
Lisa Agaiby and Shady Nessim

16 Coptic Religious Heritage: Is There a Future for the Past?
Karel Innemee

17 The Ideological Dimensions of Coptic Music Theory: Evolution of Musical Theorization as a Cultural Strategy
Nicholas Ragheb

The interdisciplinary scope of this publication makes it appealing to scholars, students as well as a general audience who are interested in Middle Eastern Christianity, Coptic Studies, anthropology, and theology.
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