July 15-16, 2011
Presentations @ UCLA, Royce Hall Room 314, Los Angeles
Registration Fee (Suggested Contributions):
Click here for online registration. Registration fees to paid at the door.
Schedule: The following is a tentative schedule for the conference:
Friday, July 15, 2011
| 10:00-10:05 a.m.
||Opening Remarksby Dr. Jacco Dieleman|
|10:05-10:30 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, The Sale of Dismembered Manuscripts of Coptic Egypt on eBay. Update Report|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Ramses Wassif, The Evolution of the Coptic Pascha Book. A Preliminary Survey|
|11:15-11:45 a.m.||Sarah Mehany, Contemporary Coptic Nuns: Changing the Future by Connecting to the Past|
|11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Dr. Monica Bontty, Keep A Knockin!|
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:15-2:15 p.m.||Session in Tribute to Dr.Rodolph Yanney|
|Dr. Raif Yanney/Dr. Maged S. A. Mikail/Dr. Saad Michael Saad, Late Dr. Rodolph Yanney|
|1:45-2:15 p.m.||Michael Domeracki, A Consistent Theology: Origen and the Dissolution of the Devil|
|2:30-3:00 p.m.||Dr. Janet Timbie, Flood or Inundation in the Book of Job? Evidence from Coptic Bible Translations and Coptic Literature|
|3:00-3:30 p.m.||Donald Westbrook, Hermeneutics of Lived Religion: Desert Fathers as Case Study .|
|3:30-4:00 p.m.||Joseph Sanzo, Your Impurity is My Purity: The "Jewish" Persecution of Christ in P. Heid 1101.|
|4:00-4:30 p.m.||Dr. S. Michael Saad, Aspects of Coptic Civilization in the United States|
|7:00-8:00 p.m.||Tour of the Coptic Library and Coptic artifacts at the St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies, located at 1494 So. Robertson Blvd, LA, CA 90035, Ste 102, 204.|
Saturday, July 16, 2011
|9:30-10:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, Society Progress Report (2010-11)|
|10:00-10:30 a.m.||Dr. George Ghaly, Coptic Bilingualism in Liturgical Hymns|
|10:45-11:15 a.m.||Angela Susak, Exploring Value through Karanis Glass|
|11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Dr. Darlene Brook Hedstrom, A Tenth Century Manshubiya in Wadi al-Natrun|
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:15-1:45 p.m.||Mohamad Saleh, Laborers, Scribes, and Financiers: Modernization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth Century Egypt|
|1:45-2:15 p.m.||Dr. Sergei Plekhanov, The Copts, the State And Society in Post-Mubarak Egypt|
|2:30-3:00 p.m.||Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail, Historical Notes on the Observance of the Fast of the Apostles in Coptic and Syrian Practice|
|3:00-3:45 p.m.||Prof. Mark Swanson, Shoring Up the Coptic Community: The ‘Urban Ministry’ of Anba Ruways|
Business Meeting of the Members of St. Shenouda the
Archimandrite Coptic Society
The Conference will be located on the Campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Royce Hall, Room 314.
Directions and Parking:
Coming from the south or from the Santa Monica Freeway:
Take the 405 N, Exit Wilshire East (Bear to the right at the exit)
Turn Right on Wilshire Blvd.
Turn Left on Westwood Ave. (the 3rd traffic light after exiting the fwy)
Turn Right on Leconte Ave
then turn Left on Hilgard Ave (the second light after turning into Le Conte
Turn Left on Westholme Drive, then turn right immediately in a driveway to the information kiosk.
Request parking in Lot #2, parking is $11 per day and mention that you attending the St Shenouda Coptic Conference at Royce Hall.
The attendant at the booth can direct you to Royce Hall.
Enter in the left-most door of Royce Hall and take the elevator up to the third floor (Room #314).
Coming from the north (The San Fernando Valley):
Take the 405 S, Exit Sunset East
Turn Left on Sunset Blvd.
Turn Right on Hilgard Ave.
Turn Right on Westholme Drive, then turn right immediately in a driveway to the information kiosk.
Request parking in Lot #2, parking is $11 per day.
The attendant at the booth can direct you to Royce Hall.
Enter in the left-most door of Royce Hall and take the elevator up to the third floor (Room #314).
New routes areound the 405 closure on July 16-17, 2011
On Saturday morning going to the Conference:
1-Coming from the San Fernando Valley take Sepulveda Blvd to Wilshire then left to Westwood.
2-Coming from Orange County/South Bay/LAX area, take the NB 405 then to EB 10 to National, exit make a right, go straight on National then straight onto Westwood Blvd to UCLA. OR if the NB 405 is jammed exit and take Sepulveda Blvd all the way to Wilshire then right onto Wilshire to Westwood left.
On Saturday evening leaving the Conference:
1-Going to the San Fernando Valley take Sepulveda Blvd north all the way till you cross the 101 interchange then either take the NB 405 or continue onto Sepulveda.
2-Going south to Orange County/South Bay/LAX area, take the SB 405 on ramp from Wilshire to your destination, the closure would not impact you.
List of Speakers (Tentative):
Title: Keep A Knockin!
Presenter: Dr. Monica Bontty (University of Louisiana, Monroe)
A preview of the Afterlife is a common motif found in many medieval texts. It has been demonstrated that this motif finds its origin in Coptic and Gnostic materials. However, evidence will show that the basis of this motif is another example of a pharaonic tradition that survives in Coptic literature.
Title: A Consistent Theology: Origen and the Dissolution of the Devil
Presenter: Mr. Michael S. Domeracki (Rice University, TX)
In tracing Origen’s writings and social conflicts, I will show that although Origen proposed a universal salvation system, he never believed the devil would actually choose to repent and be saved. Origen’s later writings are not a departure from his earlier work nor do they suggest an inconsistency in his thought. Rather, these later writings demonstrate a response to misinterpretations regarding his own theology. The paper will begin outlining Origen’s salvation model evident in Peri Archon, then discuss the social conflicts of Origen, and conclude with a study of his later writings. By following his life and writings chronologically, I will show that Origen did not change his mind, but rather wrote in reaction to his opponents to clarify and further explain his salvation theology that offered, though did not expect, the salvation of the devil.
Title: Coptic Bilingualism in Liturgical Hymns
Presenter: Dr. George Ghaly (Mass)
This presentation will explore bilingual code-switching in the glorification hymn Agios Istin. The presentation will explorebilingualstrategies in general and typologies of language contact phenomenon as they may apply to Coptic. Finally we will explore the ambiguous linguistic nature found in late liturgical hymns and discuss bilingualism in Egypt.
Title: A Tenth Century Manshubiya in Wadi al-Natrun
Author: Dr. Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom, Associate Professor of History at Wittenberg University
This paper surveys the material life of a Coptic monastic manshubiya being excavated by the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project-North (YMAP-N). Drawing upon the archaeological indicators of monastic life, the building serves an example of the type of structures which comprised the monastic village in Wadi Natrun, just southwest of Deir Anba Bishoi. This building is unique for it includes dated prayers from the tenth century and includes ceramic evidence spanning the ninth and tenth centuries. Therefore the manshubiya offers an opportunity to consider monastic life in medieval Coptic Egypt—a period not well examined in monastic archaeology.
The numerous modifications to the building and individual rooms, the installations of at least sixteen ovens and stoves, and the presence of two rooms with significant markers of religious life, all suggest the inhabitants in the tenth century were part of a highly developed community. The close proximity of the 85 manshubiyyat and the placement of middens between the structures also points to specific settlement planning in the layout of the monastic village. The YMAP excavations demonstrate the importance and need for more sustained archaeological work in later periods of monastic life.
Title: Historical Notes on the Observance of the Fast of the Apostles in Coptic and Syrian Practice.
Presenter: Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail (California State University, Fullerton)
This paper explores the late patristic and medieval evidence for the observance of the Fast of the Apostles in the Coptic, East and West Syrian, and Greek (Melkite) confessions. Particular emphasis is placed on identifying when and how this fast was observed by the Copts from the “Middle Ages” through the eighteenth century
Title: Contemporary Coptic Nuns: Changing the Future by Connecting to the Past
Presenter: Sarah Mehany (CGU, California)
Monasticism and the Coptic Church go hand in hand, it is believed by Copts that the Church is strong when the monasteries are strong. Today the nuns follow the way of their predecessors and mainly focus on the rule of Pachomius. In Egypt today there are ten convents for women each flourishing and contributing to the church in their own way. The majority of these convents today implement the rule of Pachomius, in their ascetic life.
While this brief presentation is not an exhaustive survey of the rule of Pachomius and the convents, it does aim to act as an incentive toward further research in this neglected area of Coptic women studies. There are currently a few studies done on Coptic women, but not nearly as much as deserved. This presentation aims to briefly discuss several issues. First the history of Egyptian monasticism, and the influence different church fathers had on the ascetic life; afterward an examination of Pachomius and hisKonionia. Third, the lineage of women and their role and influence on monasticism and the church. Finally, a reflection on my experiences and a brief analysis between contemporary Coptic nuns and the rule of Pachomius will be discussed.
Title: The Copts, the State And Society in Post-Mubarak Egypt
Presenter: Dr. Sergei Plekhanov (York University, Canada)
The fall of the Mubarak regime and the continuing political changes in Egypt are reshaping Christian-Muslim relations in the country. The Egyptian state is in flux, and some of its traditional methods of social control, like managed low-level intercommunal conflict which has tormented Coptic communities for decades, are no longer used. The Copts can now use the new freedoms to articulate their demands and defend their rights. On the other hand, Coptic leaders have lost at least some of their informal channels of access to the top of the state, while radical Islamists are now free to operate politically, build public support and agitate for the transformation of Egypt into an Islamic state. The new situation contains both dangers and opportunities for the Copts, calling for bold new strategies of outreach to promote religious and civil peace and social justice.
Title: Aspects of Coptic Civilization in the United States
Presenter: Dr. S. Michael Saad (SSACS, California)
Copts who have immigrated to the United States have preserved and developed rich traditions including Coptic art, architecture, language, literature, music, liturgical tradition, and monastic life. During the past fifty years, first and second generation Copts have invested in this cultural heritage in churches, civic organizations and their own homes thus honoring their cultural identity and serving their communities at large. This paper presents a cross sectional survey of Coptic civilization in the United States, with a focus on the foundational role of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America in the establishment of programs that have promoted Coptic heritage.
Title: Laborers, Scribes, and Financiers: Modernization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth Century Egypt
Presenter: Mohamed Saleh (USC, California)
Using a new and unique source of data, the 1848 and 1868 Egyptian individual-level census records, I examine the impact of an early national modernization project on the human capital differences between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Following a long medieval tradition, Christians and Jews in Egypt were more likely to be concentrated in “white-collar” occupations. Modern manufacturing and transportation state projects in mid- 19th century opened up new occupations, and thus, provided routes for mobility that varied by religious group. I argue that the pre-modernization guild system, which was the major source of obtaining skills, left little chance for occupational mobility given the limited scope of public education. Results suggest that Christians benefited most from modernization, as they were more likely to be employed in white-collar or skilled artisanal jobs.
-------------------------Title: Your Impurity is My Purity: The "Jewish" Persecution of Christ in P. Heid 1101.
Presenter: Joseph Sanzo (UCLA, California)
Within the Egyptian religious landscape, historiola (i.e., a [short] narrative used for ritual power) was a widely-practiced tactic of ritual specialists. Typically operating via an analogy between the prior works of a transcendent power and a present crisis, this ritual phenomenon was believed to be efficacious for a variety of apotropaic situations.
As part of a ritual to help a victim of “discharge” (Greek: rheuma)), a fifth/sixth century CE amulet from Egyptian Babylon (P. Heid. 1101) utilizes a historiola that emphasizes the Jews as persecutors of “our Lord” (Jesus). What is the function of this historiola? Who was in mind when the ritual specialist used the term “Jew”?
In my paper, I attempt to address these questions by situating P. Heid. 1101 within the ritual context of late antique Egypt, in particular, and as well as within the late antique dialogue between “Jews” and “Christians,” more generally. Noting the function of the persecuting Jew motif as a means of creating a distinct “Christian” identity (in contrast to a created “Jewish” other) and showing the importance of such identity formation within the ritual world of Egypt, I contend that these words were part of a general strategy of ritual purity. With respect to the meaning of “Jews” on this artifact, I make use of recent scholarship, which has shown that the term “Jew” was often a cipher for a competing “Christian” group in late antiquity. As such, I offer two of the most likely options for the lexeme in P. Heid. 1101: ethnic Jews and pro-Chalcedonian Christians.
Title: Exploring Value through Karanis Glass
Presenter: Angela Susak (UCLA, California)
Title: Shoring Up the Coptic Community: The ‘Urban Ministry’ of Anba Ruways
Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson (Chicago, Illinois)
The lay saint known variously as Furayj ibn Ishaq, Abba Tegi, or Anba Ruways (c. 1334-1404) is perhaps best known for his years spent wandering the Egyptian countryside as an extreme ascetic and ‘holy fool’; he is also known for his long, silent illness (1395-1404), after which he was buried at the Church of the Virgin in Dayr al-Khandaq—now the Church of Anba Ruways in the grounds of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in al-‘Abbasiyyah, Cairo. However, the collection of 13-15 ‘miracles’ that accompany the Life of Anba Ruways in most manuscript copies concentrate on a different period of Anba Ruways’ life: they portray him as an *urban* ascetic, one who walks the streets of Cairo-Fustat, performs miracles of healing, and delivers Coptic Christians from various troubles (many of them of their own making). This paper will present a picture of Anba Ruways’ ‘urban ministry’ (based on the copy of the Life and Miracles in MS Paris, BN ar. 282) and attempt to interpret it as part of a wider ‘program’ of shoring up the Coptic community at a very difficult time in its history.
Title: The Sale of Dismembered Manuscripts of Coptic Egypt on eBay. Update Report
Presenter: Hany N. Takla (St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, California)
The Society's Manuscript collection has been gathered primarily from purchases of items offered on eBay or through personal contacts with sellers that began on eBay. Several of the items in the collections were sold in a dismembered shape. The most notorious example was in the case of ML.MS.076 in our collection. This paper will discuss such practice, the dealers that engaged in it, their motivations, their history, and its cultural effect. It will only deal with manuscripts that are part of the Society collection with particular attention given to case of ML.MS.076, a Lent Lectionary.
Title: Flood or Inundation in the Book of Job? Evidence from Coptic Bible Translations and Coptic Literature
Presenter: Dr. Janet Timbie (CUA, DC)
In the sermon known as A Beloved Asked Me Years Ago (preserved in Discourses, vol. 4) Shenoute of Atripe corrects the interpretation of Job 40.18 (40.23 LXX) offered by the opponent. The interpretation of 40.18 that Shenoute opposes seems to hinge on the Coptic word emhre, meaning the inundation of the Nile or in some cases any high water. While making his point, Shenoute also shows that he is aware of prior patristic interpretation of Job chapters 40-41, in which the two great beasts (Behemoth and Leviathan) are read as the devil. By examining the evidence for the text and translation of Job in Coptic, as well as the details of Shenoute's sermon, we may add to our understanding of Coptic-based biblical exegesis in the fourth and fifth centuries. Is there biblical interpretation that depends on reading the Bible in Coptic, not in the Greek Old and New Testaments?
Title: The Evolution of the Coptic Pascha Book. A Preliminary Survey
Presenter: Ramses Wassif (St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, California)
The Coptic Pascha Book was composed in early 12th century at the direction of Patriarch Gabriel II, ibn Turaik (AD 1131-1145). His intention was to simplify and organize the readings done during the Holy Week in the Church. This book is distinguished by being the only lectionary that was written in parallel Coptic and Arabic columns in its manuscript tradition. This paper will discuss the evolution of this book through content analysis of the surviving manuscripts and the circulating editions of it.
Title: Hermeneutics of Lived Religion: Desert Fathers as Case Study
Presenter: Donald Westbrook (CGU, California)
This presentation has two goals: (1) to examine what, in contemporary sociology of religion, has been termed “lived religion” and (2) to argue for its relevance in appreciating the ordinary and extraordinary lives of the Desert Fathers, in particular Anthony as portrayed by Athanasius but also other monastics as depicted in the Apophthegmata Patrum. By rigorously practicing what they preached, early monks and hermits lived out their faith in ways that embodied the Christian message and inspire fresh commentary through recent methodological foci in the study of religion.
Prepared by Hany N. Takla, July 8, 2011
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