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  • Author or Editor: Gaétan du Roy x
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Ethnohistoire d’une hétérotopie au Caire (979-2021)
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Les éboueurs du Caire (les Zabbalin) se sont installés sur les pentes du Muqattam en 1970. Très vite, ils ont attiré l’attention de nombreux acteurs actifs dans le développement ou la mission religieuse : des ingénieurs égyptiens, une sœur catholique Française, et le personnage central de cette histoire, le père Samʿān, qui se lança dans une mission auprès des Zabbalin en 1974. Ce prêcheur fonda plusieurs églises connues aujourd’hui sous le nom du monastère de Saint-Samʿan-le-Tanneur, un complexe de sept sanctuaires taillés dans les falaises du Muqattam. A travers son style charismatique et ses exorcismes publics mettant en scène une lutte symbolique entre Islam et Christianisme, Samʿān est devenu l’une des figures de proue de son Eglise.

The Cairene garbage collectors (the Zabbalin) settled on the Muqattam slopes in 1970. Soon they attracted the attention of different actors involved in development and religious mission: Egyptian engineers, a French Catholic Sister and the most central character of this story, Father Samʿān, who started a mission among the Zabbalin in 1974. This preacher founded several churches, today known as the Monastery of Saint Samʿān the Tanner, a complex of seven churches carved in the Muqattam walls. Through his charismatic style of preaching and his public exorcisms symbolically staging the struggle between Christianity and Islam, Samʿān has become a figurehead of his church.
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Abstract

The history of Christians and Muslims in Egypt are often studied separately. The situations of Muslims and Christians are indeed very different—the structures of power differ, the fact of being a minority for Christians, many theological differences etc.—but the social context is mostly similar. The histories of religious reformist movements among Muslims and Christians share a lot of similarities. One possibility to approach the subject would be to propose parallel histories showing differences and common points. Another one would look for transversal ways of analysing inside missions (Egyptian missions trying to convert/reform Egyptians). Alain Roussillon’s body of work on reformism (social, religious and political) can help develop this second option of research. This communication would like to show how “reformism” can be a useful paradigm to analyse a particular and central aspect of both Christian and Muslim missionary movements: the mission targeting poor people and intending at the same time to fight superstitions and to reform their social behaviours perceived as backward.

Open Access
In: Missions and Preaching
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam
In: Les zabbālīn du Muqattam