July 19-20, 2013
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 latest schedule for the conference:
Friday, July 19, 2013
| 10:00-10:05 a.m.
||Opening Remarks by Dr. Jacco Dieleman|
|10:05-10:30 a.m.||Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef (presented by Ramses Wassif), A Liturgical comb: The Comb of Abu Hennis Revisited|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, Language Changes in Egypt After the Arab Conquest of the 7th Century|
Raafat Youssef, Ramses Wissa Wassef:A famousCoptic Architect of the 20th Century
|11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||
Magi Hernandez, She Returns the Gaze: Survey of the Female Figure in Neo-Coptic Artof the L.A. Diocese
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|Mary Ghattas, Medieval Egypt and Nubia: The Coptic and Nubian Churches,543- 1372CE|
|1:45-2:15 p.m.||Dr. Salim Faraji, Cyriacus The Triumphant Nubian King: Mimesis and the Reinvention of Classical Motifs in the “History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria”|
|2:30-3:00 p.m.||Amelia Wayne, Spaces and Selves: Asceticism as a Theory of Situatedness|
|3:00-3:30 p.m.||Dr. Monica Bontty, Ancient Language Teaching in Modern University Setting [tentative title]|
|3:30-4:00 p.m.||Dr. Joseph Sanzo, Innovation, Intertextuality, and Authoritative Traditions for Ritual Power: The Crucifixion of Jesus on Brit. Lib. Or. 6796(4), 6796|
|4:00-4:30 p.m.||Dr. Paul Sedra, Patriarchal Leadership and Institutional Development in the Modern Coptic Orthodox Church: Reappraising the Tenures of Kirollos VI and Shenouda III (tentative)|
|7:30-8:30 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 20, 2013
|9:30-10:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, State of Society Address (2012-13)|
|10:00-10:30 a.m.||Ramez Mikhail, On Evening Worship in Egypt: A Theological Evaluation of Contemporary Practice in Light of Patristic and Medieval Sources|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Dr. George Ghaly, Coptic Ethnomusicology II: Intertextuality and the Octoechos System of Chant|
Dr. Lillian Larsen, Re-drawing the Map: Monastic Education as Civic Formation in the “Apophthegmata Patrum”
|11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Dr. Fatin Morris Guirguis, Colonizing the Mind: Islamization and Coptic Identity Erosion|
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:15-1:45 p.m.||Dr. Jason Zaborowski, Apocalypse in the “Life of Samuel of Kalamon”: Envisioning Multi-Religious Civic Life in the Samuel Tradition|
|1:45-2:15 p.m.||Rev. Prof. Tim Vivian, Mighty Works and Wonders: The Life of Apa Matthew the Poor (8th c.)|
|2:30-3:15 p.m.||Prof. Mark Swanson Portraying the Religious Other in the Age of Pope Matthew I (87th patriarch, 1378-1408)|
|3:15-4:00 p.m.||Dr. Saad Michael Saad & Donald Westbrook, The Copts and Nation Building of Modern Egypt|
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 $12 per day and mention that you attending the 15th St. Shenouda - UCLA Conference of Coptic Studies 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 $12 per day.
The attendant at the booth can direct you to Royce Hall as indicated above.
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: Ancient Language Teaching in Modern University Setting [tentative title]
Presenter: Dr. Monica Bontty
Learning any language be it modern or Classical is challenging. It takes practice and dedication. To be successful, students need educational material that rigorously treats grammar, enables communication and inspires a sense of enthusiasm. Today’s computer based language learning provides a plethora of language software or sites such as Deutschewell, BBC, Duo Lingo or for those who can afford it, Rosetta Stone software. It is well marketed and helps to build basic vocabulary and essential grammar. The Pimsleur Language Learning System is an audio based language acquisition method developed by a linguist Paul Pimsleur that stresses active participation, whereby hearers repeat words and phrases and create new phrases by inference. Between 1963 and 1971 Paul Pimsleur created Greek, French, Spanish, German and Two courses while teaching at UCLA.Around the same time, another professor at UCLA used an innovative approach to teaching ancient Egyptian. John Callendar taught ancient Egyptian method used images, text, and audio to teach words and grammar. It was rather innovative, despite being rooted in the archaic period of audiocassettes. Nonetheless it was extremely innovative for the time, very successful and introduced many students to the basics of Egyptian grammar.
Title: Cyriacus The Triumphant Nubian King: Mimesis and the Reinvention of Classical Motifs in the “History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria”
Presenter: Dr. Salim Faraji
The History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria represents the principal historical source for the history of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The text depicts the lives of Coptic Patriarchs from the period of Islamic conquest of Egypt until the rise of Ottoman rule. During this time Muslim Egypt contended with its southern neighbor the medieval Christian kingdoms of Nubia. Is the tradition of the Nubian King Cyriacus (765 CE) rescue of Abba Michael in The History of the Patriarchs a reiteration of the classical motif of the triumphant, just "Ethiopian King" who saves and defends Egypt only to return to Nubia? It seems that this literary trope is a redeployment of the Nubian king as a counter-symbol to Arab-Muslim Supremacy in Egypt? The notion of restorative kingship in ancient Egyptian and Coptic literature along-side the classical Greek image of the long-lived, blameless and just “Ethiopian King” re-emerged in the Coptic literature of Early Muslim Egypt .
Title: Coptic Ethnomusicology II: Intertextuality and the Octoechos System of Chant
Presenter: Dr. George Ghaly
The octoechos system of chant is used in nearly every Apostolic Church until this day. As the name implies, the octoechos is a system based on eight tones used for liturgical chant. Controversy has risen on the universality and the origin of this system. Scholars have argued that a 14th century passage in Ibn Kabar's "Lamp of Darkness" may point to a Coptic octoechos that is no longer used. This presentation will focus on the validity of this claim and offer alternative reasons for Ibn Kabar's passage in light of musical intertextuality studies .
Title: Medieval Egypt and Nubia: The Coptic and Nubian Churches,543- 1372CE
Presenter: Mary Ghattas
From the sixth to the fourteenth centuries, the kingdoms of Nubia claimed Christianity as their official state religion. The Nubians were officially converted to Christianity in the sixth century as a result of Byzantine and Coptic missionary efforts in the Nile Valley. The land and people of Nubia were the last in the Middle East to come to Islam in the fourteenth century after a long period of resistance. Since then, Christianity has not been practiced in the region. The story of Nubian Christianity is one that demands attention and answers. A close study of the relationship between the Nubian and Coptic churches can shed light on the history of Christianity in the area and provide answers to the questions raised. The two churches enjoyed a political, ecclesiastical, and spiritual relationship. One of the three primary responsibilities of the Coptic patriarch was to shepherd and care for the Nubian church as well as to ensure that the Copts uphold the laws put forth by the Caliph and governor of Egypt and to issue an encyclical letter to the patriarch of Antioch. However, the Coptic sources--mainly The History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church and The Churches and Monasteries of Egypt and Some Neighboring Countries among others--show a disparity between the said responsibility of the Coptic patriarch towards his daughter church and the actual care and attention these sources and subsequent patriarchs dedicate to the Nubian church. This study seeks to explore the complexities of the relationship between the church authority in the person of the Patriarch of Alexandria and the king(s) of Nubia in addition to attempt to sort the intricate reasons and events that led to the demise of the relationship between the two churches of the Nile Valley .
Title: Colonizing the Mind: Islamization and Coptic Identity Erosion
Presenter: Dr. Fatin Morris Guirguis
Western scholars have vehemently accused Copts of a weak Christian faith because the Copts succumbed to the cultural and economic persecution of the Arabs and converted to Islam in huge numbers. Worse, western scholars explained away Coptic martyrdom during Roman persecution as an anomaly in the history of the Copts. In this paper, I argue that cultural and economic persecution are far worse than physical persecution because of the ruling power’s ability to permeate every aspect of culture, economy, religion and social life with practices that disavow, humiliate and pauperize those persecuted. Not only are those persecution practices wide ranging, but also lasting. Ruling powers are able to sustain such practices as long as they are in power i.e. for centuries. As a result, the ruling power brutalizes the human spirit and the will of resistance of those they oppress. Applying postcolonial studies, this paper will expose these persecution practices and will point out the means of resistance that can and are successfully employed to resist them abroad and inside Egypt.
Title: She Returns the Gaze: Survey of the Female Figure in Neo-Coptic Artof the L.A. Diocese
Presenter: Magi Hernandez
This paper will present the results of a survey of the Neo-Coptic Iconography painted by Dr. Isaac Fanous for the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, CA. Particular focus will be given the presence of the female figure in the icons; how she returns the gaze and engages the viewer with her divine energy. Identity of the icon(s) subject(s) will be examined, as well as signification of physical placement of icons in church buildings. In addition, how members of the Coptic church engage the icon as an experience of the Diaspora will be considered via relevant comments taken from interviews conducted with lay members, priests, and Bishop Serapion, Bishop of the Diocese. While Neo-Coptic iconography is the central text for this paper, a brief review of the female figure as it appears in selected Coptic icons of late antiquity will also be included.
Title: Re-drawing the Map: Monastic Education as Civic Formation in the “Apophthegmata Patrum”
Presenter: Dr. Lillian Larsen
This paper situates proto-monastic collections of sayings and stories within a broader pedagogical frame. Drawing on well-documented technical parameters – known to have structured ancient education from the Hellenistic period through Late Antiquity, and beyond – included examples demonstrate what can be gained by reading hagiography historically. Within this frame, the civic role accorded gnomic content in ancient education, will be used to underscore the degree to which compilations of monastic apophthegmata mirror tensions that lie close to the surface of monastic life. Here it will be argued that these texts serve not only as schoolroom exercises but also as tools of civic formation. As such, they simultaneously ground diverse local constituencies, and link demographic trajectories of teachers, texts, and students, within and across emergent geographical networks of pedagogical intersection and exchange.
Title: On Evening Worship in Egypt: A Theological Evaluation of Contemporary Practice in Light of Patristic and Medieval Sources
Presenter: Ramez Mikhail
Thanks to the seminal works on the subject of the daily office by Taft, and Bradshaw, a very common model for the different kinds of daily prayer in the early Church is termed the Cathedral/Monastic model. According to this model, monastic settlements, particularly in Egypt, observed a different daily ritual than that observed by city-dwellers in Egypt and elsewhere. A third tradition was identified later by Mateos in which characteristics of both combined in a hybrid or urban tradition. Within this overall model, it is assumed that a hybrid monastic-cathedral office never existed in Egypt. However, this view overlooks later evidence. This article will summarize the historical data regarding evening worship in Egypt starting with the 4th century patristic sources. It will then explore later witnesses from medieval liturgical manuscripts and writings. Following this historical overview of the evidence will be a theological evaluation of the current practice in the Coptic rite in light of the sources.
Title: The Copts and Nation Building of Modern Egypt
Presenter: Dr. S. Michael Saad & Donald Westbrook
The concept of building an Egyptian nation on the modern principles of independence and equal citizenship was first conceived by Copts during the French Expedition to Egypt (1798-1801). Since then, the ancient civilization and soul of Egypt has partially been recovered after centuries of identity loss to occupiers such as the Ottomans and earlier groups. World War I liberated Egypt from Ottoman colonization and the modern Egyptian Kingdom was formally born with the 1923 Constitution. Especially during the Muhammad Ali Dynasty (1805-1952) the Copts had significantly greater roles in building the agricultural, industrial, educational, medical, social, and political systems of the burgeoning modern nation state.Following the 1952 army revolution, this influence would wax and wane dependent on the ruling political and ideological climate. Both because of—and despite—events surrounding and following the 2011 popular revolution, elements of Coptic influence persist and are worthy of examination. This paper will give examples of Coptic nation-building, from the founding of the first girls school in the country by Pope Cyril IV in 1853 to the formation of the Free Egyptians Party by Naguib Sawiris in 2011. It will also argue that such examples represent attempts to preserve Egyptian identity and create modern social, cultural, and political change in an Islamist-dominated environment in which persecution and discrimination are constant realities.
Title: Innovation, Intertextuality, and Authoritative Traditions for Ritual Power: The Crucifixion of Jesus on Brit. Lib. Or. 6796(4), 6796
Presenter: Dr. Joseph Sanzo
Ritual specialists (“magicians”) deployed long-standing authoritative traditions in manifold ways for healing and/or protection from demonic threat. Yet, aside from passing references to the “magical” uses of the Bible or Homeric poetry, for instance, analysis of this phenomenon remains an underappreciated aspect of ancient magic studies. In my presentation, I delve into the relationship between authoritative tradition and ritual power through an examination of Brit. Lib. Or. 6796(4), 6796, a collection of two seventh century CE Coptic manuscripts that form a single exorcistic spell. In particular, I examine how word and image in this spell, both in isolation and in conjunction with one another, construct a very innovative and complex intertextual tradition of the crucifixion of Jesus. I argue that this ritual specialist’s sustained reflection on the crucifixion provides important insight into the complex ways authoritative traditions were conceptualized and appropriated for ritual power. I further contend that this complexity ought to nuance how scholars of ancient magic understand the relationship between metonymy and authoritative traditions, in general, and the use of the opening lines (incipits) of the Gospels on amulets, in particular.
Title: Patriarchal Leadership and Institutional Development in the Modern Coptic Orthodox Church: Reappraising the Tenures of Kirollos VI and Shenouda III
Presenter: Dr. Paul Sedra
The recent passing of the Patriarch has prompted observers and scholars of the modern Coptic community to appraise Shenouda’s enormous contribution to the institutional development of the Coptic Orthodox Church. There are few who would argue with the notion that Shenouda has had far and away the greatest impact upon the institution of the Church since at least the mid-nineteenth century. However, this paper urges a reappraisal of the institutional impact of Shenouda’s predecessor, Kirollos VI. Among observers and scholars of modern Coptic history, the impact of Kirollos on the temporal affairs of the church is often neglected in favor of an exclusive focus of his spiritual influence, and in that connection, the abundant miracles he is said to have performed. Yet, this paper argues that most of the initiatives that led to the vast expansion of Church activity under Shenouda were, in fact, inaugurated by Pope Kirollos VI. Further, a thorough understanding of the contemporary ‘renaissance’ of the Church, often credited to Shenouda, requires an exploration of Church and community dynamics since Kirollos’s rise to the Patriarchal seat in 1959.
Title: Portraying the Religious Other in the Age of Pope Matthew I (87th patriarch, 1378-1408)
Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson
The accounts of the lives and miracles of Pope Matthew I (d. 1408) and other great saints of his day such as al-shaykh Marqus al-An?uni (d. 1386), al-qummu? Ibrahim al-Fani (d. 1396), and Anba Ruways (d. 1404) provide us rich material for the examination of how religious difference was portrayed at a particularly challenging point in the history of the Coptic Orthodox Church. In addition to this historical/hagiographical material, we possess a major theological and ecclesiastical “encyclopedia” from this period: The Compiler (al-?awi) of al-Makin Jirjis, known as Ibn al-'Amid (“the Younger”), written in the 1390s. The paper will examine all these texts for the portrayals that we find of various groups and classes of Muslims, and highlight and attempt to explain the distinctions and nuances that we discover in these portrayals.
Title: Language Changes in Egypt After the Arab Conquest of the 7th Century
Presenter: Hany N. Takla
Egypt has lived under successive extended rules of non-Egyptians since its conquest by Alexander the Great in BC 313. It started with the Greek, then the Romans and concluded with the Arabs since circa AD 642. As a result, the Late Egyptian Language that began with the New Kingdom’s Ramesside period went through dramatic changes over these centuries. By the beginning of the Arab rule, the Late Egyptian Language has fully taken on the written form of what we now call Coptic. This paper will outline and discuss the stages that this last representative of the language of the Egyptian went through from a vibrant literary and vernacular language to its hardly liturgical form that it has survived in at present. Discussion will also cover the late attempts to revive the use of the language and reverse the downward trend it experienced under Arabic, Islamic rule.
Title: Mighty Works and Wonders: The Life of Apa Matthew the Poor (8th c.)
Presenter: Rev. Prof. Tim Vivian
Very little is known about Apa Matthew the Poor, an early-eighth-century holy person, and his Life has not been translated into English. As René-Georges Coquin notes in The Coptic Encyclopedia (1571b-1572a), various sources place Apa Matthew in Asfun, Aswan, or Bishnay, a small village in the nome of Qus, now vanished. His Life focuses on his asceticism and “mighty works and wonders,” and this paper, a prologue to a newly-edited transcription and first English translation of the Life, places Matthew in his eighth-century historical and cultural context.
Title: Spaces and Selves: Asceticism as a Theory of Situatedness
Presenter: Amelia Wayne
This paper will address questions concerning the stability and fluidity of the self-concept, especially as they relate to its contextualization, by examining late antique Coptic asceticism from the perspective of the theories of autobiographical memory and situated cognition. These two theories willoffer a mechanism for explaining how spatial relationships influence the construction of a self-concept. Autobiographical memory and situated cognition allow for a discussion of the effect of asceticism on the self that is both cognitively focused and historically contextualized. This paper applies the framework provided by these two theories to a survey of ascetic living spaces in Kellia, in order to show how ascetic life can be understood on a functional level as a method of self-transformation.
Title: Ramses Wissa Wassef: A famous Coptic Architect of the 20th Century
Presenter: Mr. Raafat Youssef
Mr. Ramses Wissa Wassef was a famous 20th Century Coptic Architect. He was born in 11/11/1911. He initially wanted to become a sculptor but he changed his mind and studied architecture instead. Hetraveled to France where he received his Doctorate from Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. His thesis project "A Potter's House in Old Cairo" received the first prize in 1935. He had a passion for beauty in form and he believed that one cannot separate the beauty from utility, the form from the material, the work from its function, and the man from his creative art. He worked in several academic positions as professor in the School of Fine Arts until he become a Chairman of the Department of Architecture, which he held until 1969. He started his work with Tapestries in the village of Harraina with young children from 1953 till today. These Egyptian villagers produced tapestries which were sold to different museums and private collections around the world. He renovated/ revived an old trade that was lost in Egypt.
In this paper I will discuss primarily the building projects that he designed or was involved in, including Church buildings that reflected his unique style, which drew upon the building style of theSt. ShenoudaMonastery in Sohag, his hometown.
Title: A Liturgical Comb: The Comb of Abu Hennis Revisited
Presenter: Dr. Youhanna M. Youssef
Despite the fact that this comb is preserved in the Coptic Museum and exhibited in many exhibitions, there is no liturgical studies done on it. In this paper, I will attempt to describe every scene and place them in relations to the Coptic liturgical calendar especially the lenten cycle.
Title: Apocalypse in the “Life of Samuel of Kalamon”: Envisioning Multi-Religious Civic Life in the Samuel Tradition
Presenter: Dr. Jason R. Zaborowski
Scholarship has shown some links between the Sahidic Life of Samuel of Kalamon and its later companion text existing in Arabic, the Apocalypse of Samuel of Qalamun. Besides being rooted in the same monastic community of the Fayyum and highlighting the non-Chalcedonian credentials of St. Samuel, the texts both express a covenant between Samuel’s monks and the Virgin Mary and they refer to many of the same monastic personalities of the Fayyum and greater Egypt. This paper demonstrates that these texts also share a common apocalyptic genre, and specifically interprets the civic visions of apocalypse alluded to in the Sahidic Life of Samuel. Scholars have long understood apocalypse as a genre of literature providing a transcendent vision to model new thinking and behavior (Aune 1986, 87). This paper argues that the apocalyptic vision of the Life of Samuel emphasizes specific civic themes of the New Testament Apocalypse of John, and promotes spiritual methods to adapt Christian civic life to Islamic rule.
Prepared by Hany N. Takla, July 15, 2013
For more information contact: email@example.com