July 13-14, 2012
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 13, 2012
| 10:00-10:05 a.m.
||Opening Remarks by Dr. Jacco Dieleman|
|10:05-10:30 a.m.||Dr. S. Michael Saad, Pope Shenouda III and Coptic Studies|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Patricia Eshagh, Tracing the Jesus Prayer Westward|
Patrick Elyas, No Longer Dhimmis: How European Intervention Empowered Copts in Egypt
|11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Fr .David W. Johnson†, S.J., with added Remarks by Dr. Janet Timbie, Egyptian and Syrian Monasticism: Why Syrian Monasticism Was Drowned Out by Egyptian Monasticism in the Earliest Period|
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:15-2:15 p.m.||Session in Tribute to Fr. David Johnson|
|Dr. Janet Timbie/Dr. Jason Zaborowski/Dr. Saad Michael Saad, Late Fr. David Johnson|
|1:45-2:15 p.m.||Jason Zaborowski, The Sahidic ‘Life of Samuel of Qalamun’ and the ‘Barbaros’|
|2:30-3:00 p.m.||Dr. Monica Bontty, Apocalypse and Conversion|
|3:00-3:30 p.m.||Dr. Daniel Sharp, A Look at Some Singular Readings From the 4th Century Gospel of John Discovered in Qau el Kebir|
|3:30-4:00 p.m.||Joseph Sanzo, Some Reflections on an Unusual Coptic Amulet, Brit. Lib. Or. 4919(2)|
|4:00-4:30 p.m.||A. Josiah Chappell, The Coptic Versions of the Books of Psalms|
|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 14, 2012
|9:30-10:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, From Manuscript to Book: Remarks on Early Publication of Liturgical Manuals editions in the Coptic Church|
|10:00-10:30 a.m.||Dr. George Ghaly, Pope Cyril IV: The Father of What Reform?|
|10:45-11:15 a.m.||Sandra Estafan, Pilgrimages & Migrations: An Indigenous Coptic History Project|
Dr. Fatin Morris Guirguis, Resistance Through Orality
|11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Dr. Lilian Larson, On Learning a New Alphabet|
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:15-1:45 p.m.||Gawdat Gabra, Factors of the Continuity of Christianity in Egypt as Reflected in Coptic Art|
|1:45-2:15 p.m.||Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail, The Early History of the Monastery of John Khame|
|2:30-3:15 p.m.||Rev Dr. Tim Vivian, The Bodhisattva in the Desert: ‘Ahimsa’ in the Desert Fathers|
|3:15-4:00 p.m.||Prof. Mark Swanson, The Story of Fakhr al-Dawla ibn al-Mu'taman: Priest's son, Muslim grandee, Coptic monk|
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).
List of Speakers (Tentative):
Title: Apocalypse and Conversion
Presenter: Dr. Monica Bontty (University of Louisiana, Monroe)
This paper describes the creation and significance of an early text written during the early Islamic period. It will use methodologies from social history and literary history to make a contribution to our understanding of the Christian community under early Islamic rule.
Title: The Coptic Versions of the Books of Psalms
Presenter: A. Josiah Chappell (UCLA, California)
The Book of Psalms is one of the best attested components of the Coptic Old Testament. Due to its extensive use in both personal and liturgical settings, we have numerous complete and fragmentary manuscripts of the book over a wide range of centuries. It is also the largest Old Testament book to have full, extant versions in three dialects—Sahidic, Bohairic, and Mesokemic—alongside remnants of versions in other dialects. Surveying the nature and scope of the manuscript evidence and past research, one can see that there is still a great need for a synoptic, multi-dialect, critical edition of the Coptic Psalms. As an excursus, special mention is to be made of the treatment of the Psalm titles (the information framing many of the actual Psalms themselves) in the different Coptic versions.
Title: No Longer Dhimmis: How European Intervention Empowered Copts in Egypt
Presenter: Patrick Elyas (University of Pennsylvannia, Pennsylvannia)
The presentation will explore the impact of Napoleon's occupation of Egypt on the elevation of the status of Copts in Egyptian society through the 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular, I will focus on the reversal of longstanding dhimmi laws limiting the rights and status of Copts in Egypt, the formation of the Coptic legion, and, most significantly, the promotion of several prominent Copts to prominent positions of executive power within the French administration of Egypt. I will also give a brief overview of how the expansion of Western missionary activity in Egypt during the 19th century, and the internal Coptic reformation that reacted to it, deepened the Copts' educational advantage, thereby positioning Copts to play an outsized role in Egyptian cultural, political, and economic life until the 1952 coup.
Title: Tracing the Jesus Prayer Westward
Presenter: Patricia Eshagh (Claremont Graduate University/Califonia State University Stanislaus, California)
When one attempts to trace the history of the Jesus Prayer, the traditional view describes it as an ascetic practice developed by the desert fathers of Egypt and a key component of Eastern Christianity. However, sources claim that the Jesus Prayer was ignored as a practice in Western Christianity until the twentieth century, when it was popularized by J. D. Salinger’s book entitled Franny and Zooey. This paper disputes such a claim by demonstrating not only the early existence of the Jesus Prayer in Western Christianity, but also the key role it played in the diffusion of Egyptian monasticism to the West.
Title: Pilgrimages & Migrations: An Indigenous Coptic History Project
Presenter: Ms. Sandra Estafan (Graduate Theological Union, Califonria)
A storytelling journey through migrations, holy sites and saints, this multi-media presentation takes a critical look at how Coptic history told. We will explore research methodologies, concepts of indigeneity and migration. How does history look in our own voices, told through our experiences and ways of knowing? How does storytelling shape our present and future survival as a religious culture in Egypt and diaspora?
Title: Factors of the Continuity of Christianity in Egypt as Reflected in Coptic Art
Presenter: Dr. Gawdat Gabra (Claremont Graduate University, California)
The Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 had immeasurable consequences for Egypt’s history in general and for the Coptic Church in particular. While Christianity disappeared from many regions of North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean when Islam made its great advance during the seventh through the eleventh centuries, it continued in Egypt. The most important factors that are responsible for the survival of Christianity in Egypt are the unparalleled veneration of the Copts to their martyrs and saints, and their unshakable belief in their non-Chalcedonian faith, as well as Monasticism. I will explore how those factors are reflected in Coptic art.
Title: Pope Cyril IV: The Father of What Reform?
Presenter: Dr. George Ghaly (Mass)
This presentation will examine historical claims about Pope Cyril IV's contribution to Coptic hymns and sacred music. We will examine the veracity of Pope Cyril IV's reforms and discuss the effects of such reforms. We will examine the accuracy of these claim through histography, epistemology and pedagogy.
Title: Resistance Through Orality
Presenter: Dr. Fatin Morris Guirguis (Polk State College, Florida)
This paper is a literary and ethnographic examination of The Vision of Theophilus, a fourth century Coptic narrative, as influential counter-narrative and source of counter discourse against the narrative created by the historically dominant Egyptian Arab Muslim state. It shows that The Vision has provided the Copts with the means to articulate their identity as different from their oppressors through its function as a repository of Coptic ideology, history and knowledge. Specifically, it has helped them resist the erosion of those aspects of their cultural identity targeted by colonial practices through its promotion of the Coptic language, pride in Coptic history, and Christianization of the landscape. This study also suggests that The Vision tradition has helped alleviate the conditions of material and economic oppression of Copts.
Title: On Learning a New Alphabet
Presenter: Dr. Lillian Larson (University of Redlands, California)
This paper re-examines paradigmatic narrative and apophthegmatic texts long used in arguing against early monastic investment in literacy pursuits. By reading these sources in light of ancient/late-ancient school models, it premises that monastic collections of sayings and stories should, instead, be situated within a pedagogical frame. Extant schooltexts serve to illustrate the content that characterizes Egyptian monastic forms.
Title: The Early History of the Monastery of John Khame
Presenter: Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail (California State University, Fullerton)
This paper forwards a new reading of the Life of John Khame, which facilitates an analysis of the genesis and growth of the saint’s monastic community. It proceeds to survey the ideological foundations for Abba John’s community, and the means by which it came to be recognized as the “Fifth is Scetis.” Finally, the paper summarizes the tensions that existed between Abba John’s monastery and the older institutions of John the Little and that of the Syrians.
Title: Pope Shenouda III and Coptic Studies
Presenter: Dr. S. Michael Saad (Claremont Graduate University/SSACS, California)
The rich and diverse legacy of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III (1971-2012) includes the encouragement and inspiration of Coptic studies worldwide. This paper focuses specifically on his achievements in the Coptic Diaspora, namely: (1) the establishment of seven seminaries, (2) financial, moral, and scholarly support of The Coptic Encyclopedia, recently published online at Claremont Graduate University (http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/col/cce), (3) hosting university groups at his papal residence in Cairo, (4) promoting five international conferences on Christianity and Monasticism in Egypt organized by St. Mark Foundation for Coptic History Studies between 2002-2010, (5) hosting the Ninth International Congress of Coptic Studies in Cairo in 2008, (6) delivering lectures at universities worldwide, and most recently before his passing (7) connecting Coptic studies in the Diaspora with the Egyptian church by means of the St. Mark Cultural Center on the Cairo cathedral complex and by appointing Diaspora scholars to serve on its Board of Trustees.
Title: A Look at Some Singular Readings From the 4th Century Gospel of John Discovered in Qau el Kebir
Presenter: Daniel Sharp (BYU-Hawaii, Hawaii)
During work on my dissertation on singular readings in three early Coptic versions of the Gospel of John, I discovered 884 singular readings in the manuscript that Sir Herbert Thompson called "Q." Of these singular readings 664 are sensible readings. This paper will explore a few of the more significant of the 664 sensible readings to determine what insights may be learned into the habits of this early Coptic scribe. The major question that will be asked in this paper is whether or not some theological agenda might be behind the singular readings created by this scribe.
Title: Some Reflections on an Unusual Coptic Amulet, Brit. Lib. Or. 4919(2).
Presenter: Joseph Sanzo (UCLA, California)
In my presentation, I will discuss a soon-to-be-published amulet in the British Library, Brit. Lib. Or. 4919(2). The text of this sixth or seventh century CE amulet is a collection of incipits (i.e., the initial lines of books), which is unique both in terms of selection and order: Jesus’ letter to Abgar; Gospel of Matthew; Gospel of Luke; Gospel of John; Gospel of Mark. In addition to commenting on some of the formal features of this artifact, I will analyze its importance for understanding the ritual use of incipits in late antique Egypt.
Title: The Story of Fakhr al-Dawla ibn al-Mu'taman: Priest's son, Muslim grandee, Coptic monk
Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Illinois)
Coptic PatriarchMatthew I (#87,1378-1408),the best-known patriarch of the Mamluk period,is remembered not only for his own remarkable holiness but also for that ofsome saintly contemporaries, the greatest of whom were the monk Marqus al-Antuni (d. 1386) and the holy man known as Anba Ruways (d. 1404). Written Lives of these three saints have all been preserved and constitute a rich source for understanding the struggles of the Coptic Orthodox community in the late 14th century.
Together, the Lives of these three saints tell us the stories of many individuals—rich and poor, powerful and humble, Copts and Muslims, men and women—with whom they came in contact. One individual in particular makes his way into all three of these Lives: his name was Fakhr al-Din ibn al-Mu'taman. He was a Copt, the son of a priest and a member of thebureaucratic class,who embraced the life of a Muslim grandee during the reign of sultan al-Zahir Barquq (r. 1382-1399)—and then repented of it. This paper will relate the story of Fakhr al-Dawla as it is told in the Lives, and use it to make some observations about conversion between the Islamic and Coptic communities at the end of the 14th century
Title: From Manuscript to Book: Remarks on Early Publication of Liturgical Manuals editions in the Coptic Church
Presenter: Hany N. Takla (St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, California)
Until the second half of the 20th Century, Coptic Churches were reproducing and using liturgical manuals in manuscript form. The first Coptic Church press was brought during the patriachate of Pope Cyril IV. This paper will discuss the early production of this Coptic Press with regards to Coptic Church manuals. It will also present observations on what languages the Press produced works in and what interesting features that the earliest known Coptic Church manual had!
Title: Egyptian and Syrian Monasticism: Why Syrian Monasticism Was Drowned Out by Egyptian Monasticism in the Earliest Period
Presenter: Fr. David W. Johnson†, S.J., with added Remarks by Dr. Janet Timbie (CUA, DC)
In a paper written for the Syriac Symposium in the 1990s, and later revised, Fr. Johnson examines the reasons why the independent origin of monasticism in Syro-Mesopotamia was ignored in favor of a narrative of origins in which St. Antony of Egypt was the first to develop the monastic life "to the summit of exactness and perfection" (Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History I.13). The reasons include the role of koine Greek in Christian communication, the spread of the Apophthegmata Patrum, Egypt as a destination for religious tourists, and the eclipse of Theodoret of Cyrrhus (c. 393-458)---the source for early Syrian monasticism---when his work was condemned in the Three Chapters controversy of 553 C.E.After reading selected portions of Fr. Johnson's paper, I will note how it illustrates his special strengths as a scholar and teacher, and still offers a useful overview of the problem. Then I will consider whether some of his conclusions need to be revised in light of later research.
Title: The Bodhisattva in the Desert: ‘Ahimsa’ in the Desert Fathers
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian (California State University Bakersfield, California)
As the scholar Hope Fitz has commented, in speaking about Gandhi, “I am convinced that if world peace and a sense of individual well-being are to be realized, ahimsa [the Indic concept of non-violence; doing no harm] must be taught to and practiced by the people of the world, especially the children.” This paper will focus on the reality of ahimsa in early Christian monasticism. This paper hopes in a small way not to offer merely politically correct and ecumenical talking points but rather to demonstrate that ahimsa is part of the fabric and building materials of one of Christianity’s greatest spiritual and ethical traditions and, so woven and grounded, can still speak to us today. Perhaps ahimsa represents, even defines, what is, let us hope, something inherent, not only in each religion but also in each human person, and in humanity as a whole. If not inherent then, the best. In either case, what is inherent or best—as Jesus and Buddha teach and model—is nurturable or teachable, and thus capable of being practiced, and lived.
Title: The Sahidic ‘Life of Samuel of Qalamun’ and the ‘Barbaros’
Presenter: Dr. Jason Zaborowski (Bradley University, Illinois)
The source texts for the legacy of St. Samuel of Qalamun (c. 597-695) cast him in the role of a confessor who championed the Egyptian Christian faith against two threats: Chalcedonian Christians and Arab Muslims. The various traditions surrounding Samuel suggest that his struggles marked the transition to Arab Islamic rule in Egypt, yet the accounts of the Coptic Life are elusively wrapped in the typological language of martyrdoms, and they do not explicitly refer to the Arab Islamic conquests. However, this paper explores the historical significance of the typologies in the Coptic Life of Samuel, arguing that the text’s frequent references to raiders – which it terms “n-barbaros” – are allusions to the Arab Muslims who controlled Egypt in 642.
Prepared by Hany N. Takla, July 12, 2012
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