July 18-19, 2014
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 18, 2014
| 10:00-10:05 a.m.
||Opening Remarks by Dr. Jacco Dieleman|
|10:05-10:30 a.m.||Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef (presented by Hany N. Takla), Salam of Anba Shenoute|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, Sahidicism in the Homilies of St. Shenouda Preserved in the Bohairic Pascha Book|
|11:15-11:45 a.m.||Dr. Monica Bontty, Shenoute and Violence: Ringleader or Rebel|
|11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Dr. Janet Timbie, The State of Research on Shenoute of Atripe 2009-2014: What Can We Learn from the Edition and Translation of Canon 8?|
|12:15-1:15 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|Dr. Elizabeth Bolman, The Red Monastery Church, Upper Egypt, and the Byzantine World|
|2:15-3:00 p.m.||A. Josiah Chappell, The Psalters of the White Monastery|
|3:15-3:45 p.m.||Dr. Salim Faraji, The Failure of Diplomacy: A Reappraisal of the Nubian Kingdom of the Blemmyes in Besa's Life of Shenoute|
|3:45-4:15 p.m.||Dr. Saad Michael Saad & Donald Westbrook, Placing St. Shenouda in the Coptic Diaspora|
|7:30-8:30 p.m.||Tour of the new Coptic Cultural Museum at the St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies, located at 1494 So. Robertson Blvd, LA, CA 90035, Ste 200.|
Saturday, July 19, 2014
|9:30-10:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, Thirty-five Years in Preserving and Promoting the Coptic Heritage|
|10:00-10:30 a.m.||Dr. George Ghaly, What are we doing in the Desert of Apa Shenoute?|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Dr. Lilian Larson, ‘On Learning a New Alphabet’… in Coptic|
|11:15-11:45 a.m.||Dr. Caroline Schroeder, Shenoute in Code: Building a Collaborative Online Environment for Studying Coptic Literature|
|11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.||Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, Our—Perhaps Surprising—Contemporary?: A Review of "Shenoute of Atripe and the Uses of Poverty"|
|12:30-1:30 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:30-2:00 p.m.||Dr. Jason Zaborowski, The Visions of Anba Shenouda: A Report on Two Previously Unedited Arabic MSS|
|2:00-2:45 p.m.||Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail, From the Manuscripts of the White Monastery Library: Assessment of the Dossier of Apa Matthew the Poor|
|3:00-3:45 p.m.||Dr. Mark Swanson The Dangers of Friends in High Places:The Fatimid wazir Bahram and the White Monastery|
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, Saturday $8, Handicap $5and 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, Saturday $8, Handicap $5.
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: “The Red Monastery Church, Upper Egypt, and the Byzantine World”
Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Bolman
The visual culture of Upper Egypt has typically been seen not only as separate from that produced in major centers of the Roman empire, but also of a much lower quality. A decade long wall painting conservation project at the Red Monastery has uncovered fascinating evidence to the contrary. The late fifth-century triconch sanctuary of the Red Monastery church still includes original, in situ sculpture. Three principal phases of wall paintings, all dating between the late fifth and sixth or possibly seventh century, attest to a thriving monastic center. These depictions have stylistic and iconographic ties to extant early Byzantine architectural decoration in Rome, Sinai, Ravenna and Milan. The newly revealed paintings, in conjunction with recent scholarly work, indicate the necessity of a complete reassessment of the role of Egypt in the creation of early Byzantine visual culture.
Image caption: Angel, Ascension of Christ, Eastern Apse, Red Monastery Church, ca. 500. Photograph: E. Bolman. Copyright ARCE.
White Monastery Tomb (360 panoramas of two rooms)
1) first chamberhttp://www.360cities.net/image/first-chamber-of-the-tomb-of-st-shenoute-monastery-sohag-egypt#87.10,0.00,85.0
2) second chamber http://www.360cities.net/image/tomb-of-st-shenoute-white-monastery-sohag-egypt#164.60,0.00,75.7
Red Monastery Triconch
1) 360 Panorama: http://www.360cities.net/image/red-monastery-sohag-egypt#2.10,-83.70,90.0
2) You Tube Film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT7TDxZ9NpY
Title: Shenoute and Violence: Ringleader or Rebel
Presenter: Dr. Monica Bontty (University of Louisiana, Monroe, LA)
A 2010 article on Coptic monks and violence stresses the use of violence by Copts as the principle means of Christian-pagan interaction in Late Antique Egypt. Although Derkson’s observation is valid in some respects, it cannot be taken as a norm, especially in the case of Shenoute. The evidence will show that Shenoute’s infrequently used force and that his actions did not lead to the extensive outbreak of physical conflict.
 J. Derkson, “Why Did Early Christians Turn Violent” The Case of Early Egyptian,” Theological Review 31, (2010), pp. 60-91.
Title: The Psalters of the White Monastery
Author: A. Josiah Chappell (UCLA, California)
With the Psalms being among the most widely used biblical texts, it should come as no surprise that the library of the White Monastery—a preeminent source of Sahidic literature—provides us with multiple copies of the Psalter. All told, around 20 fragmentary Sahidic Psalters are believed to have come from the remains of the monastic library. The history of the modern discovery, haphazard dispersal, and complex reconstruction of the White Monastery Psalters will be surveyed, including the overall amount of the Psalms which are attested. Within these codices, developments in material, writing style, and format bear witness to a number of generations of scribal practice. Further, we are able to glimpse connections to other other scribal centers, most notably that at Touton in the Fayyum. The story of the White Monastery Psalters forms a crucial chapter in the overall history of the Psalms in Coptic.
Title: The Failure of Diplomacy: A Reappraisal of the Nubian Kingdom of theBlemmyes in "Besa's Life of Shenoute"
Presenter: Dr. Salim Faraji (California State University, Dominguez Hills, CA)
The Nubian kingdom of the Blemmyes were consistently represented in late antiquityas "mericiless, barbarian tribes" that unrelentingly invaded the southern frontier of Roman Egypt. TheLife of Shenoute by Besa also deploys the trope of marauding Blemmyes attacking defenseless communities in Upper Egypt only to be vindicated by the heroic feats of the Abbot Shenoute. The flaw of this convential view ignores that Blemmyan and Roman international relations was defined by diplomatic policies that acknowledged Blemmyan sovereignty as well as their political and religious interests in both Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia. The monasteries of Upper Egypt did not exist independent of this socio-political matrix and therefore Shenoute's intervention in responseto Blemmyan advances signaled the role of monastic leaders innegotiating failed diplomacy.
Title:What are we doing in the Desert of Apa Shenoute?
Presenter: Dr. George Ghaly (MA)
This presentation will discuss a liturgical procession in the desert in the domain of Apa Shenoute found in a unique 16th century manuscript, Paris BN Copte 68. The contents of the manuscripts will be examined and the difficult terms found in the rite will be discussed. We will examine the bilingual nature of the manuscript and the hymnographic content of the manuscript.
Title: ‘On Learning a New Alphabet’… in Coptic
Author: Dr. Lillian Larson (University of Redlands, California)
While sustained attention has historically been accorded the Greek, Latin and Syriac collections of the Apophthegmata Patrum (AP), only secondary focus has been placed on the sayings preserved in Coptic. However, given that the sayings included in all collections are primarily set within the deserts of Egypt, and ostensibly preserve the teachings of Egyptian monks, the comparative lack of attention accorded the Coptic corpus presents something of a riddle. Balancing long-standing relative de-emphasis, this paper will take as its primary focus the extant Coptic fragments that attach to the Monastery of Shenouda, examining both content and structure in conversation with literary and material evidence that derives from a broader Egyptian, monastic frame.
Title: From the Manuscripts of the White Monastery Library: Assessment of the Dossier of Apa Matthew the Poor
Presenter: Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail (Califonria State University, Fullerton, CA)
Three of the codices from the White Monastery contain texts relating to the eighth-century saint Matthew the Poor (or the “Potter” [al-fakhuri]), who founded a monastery near Isna in Upper Egypt. This paper provides an overview of the Life and the Encomium for this saint based on all the available evidence: Coptic, Arabic, and Ethiopic. It also forwards a new date for the extant recension of the Life and charts the evolution of the saint's dossier through the Middle Ages.
Title: Placing St. Shenouda in the Coptic Diaspora
Presenter: Dr. S. Michael Saad (CGU/SSACS, California) & Donald Westbrook (CGU, California)
This paper surveys the history and influence of St. Shenouda the Archimandrite in the Coptic Diaspora, with particular attention to the use and appeal of the saint’s name in monasteries, churches, iconography, scholarship, and educational institutions. What is the Diasporic significance of the name, personality, and teachings of Shenouda? Based on our case studies, this paper argues that the name Shenouda is ultimately chosen because of its spiritual heritage and message intended for a given community, in an identity-forming process we term “theology of naming.” Depending on the context, Shenouda has become one figure among others to be invoked as an embodiment of practices and values informing Coptic identity, such as communal monasticism, spiritual austerity, scholastic achievement, and commitment to orthodoxy. This has been reinforced by the role of non-Copt scholars who have done research on Shenouda that raises awareness and admiration among Coptic believers.
Title: Shenoute in Code: Building a Collaborative Online Environment for Studying Coptic Literature
Presenter: Dr. Caroline Schroeder (University of the Pacific, CA)
Abstract Students and scholars of the ancient languages of Greek and Latin have a robust digital environment to read and study classical texts, thanks to resources such as the Perseus Digital Library, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the Library of Latin Texts, and other websites and databases. Those of us who work in Coptic, however, do not have similar resources. This paper will introduce the online, digital humanities project Coptic Scriptorium and outline some of the challenges and benefits of creating a collaborative, open-source digital research environment for Coptic literary texts. Many of the primary texts in the project are the writings of Shenoute. This paper also will briefly explore research questions that a digital resource can enable.
Title: The Dangers of Friends in High Places:The Fatimid wazir Bahram and the White Monastery
Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Illinois)
It is occasionally worth pondering our good fortune that the White Monastery library survived into modern times at all; there are a number of occasions on which it might have been destroyed altogether. For example, the monastery came very close to becoming a battleground in the year 1137 CE, when the Armenian Christian wazir Bahram (in office 1135-1137) retreated there with his troops in order to face an army sent by the man who had led a revolt against him, Ri?wan ibn Walakhashi. Violence -- and damage to the monastery -- appear, however, to have been averted. This presentation will examine our sources, Christian and Islamic, for the episode; attempt a sketch of events; and situate the episode within the broader history of late Fatimid Egypt.
Title: Sahidicism in the Homilies of St. Shenouda Preserved in the Bohairic Pascha Book
Presenter: Hany N. Takla (St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, CA)
In 1932, Khs-Burmester published a collection of 23 patristic homilies that were found in seven manuscripts of the Pascha Book. Among them are nine attributed to St. Shenouda. Four of them, which were only included for the first time in the 1949 edition of this book in the Church, exhibit Sahidic Coptic features. This paper will discuss briefly the manuscripts and editions of this book as well as the apparant Sahidic elements, Vocabulary and Grammar, found in these four homilies. Also remarks were made on the possible origin of these homilies.
Title: The State of Research on Shenoute of Atripe 2009-2014: What Can We Learn from the Edition and Translation of Canon 8?
Presenter: Dr. Janet Timbie (Catholic University of America, DC)
In my last report on this topic---at the St. Shenouda-UCLA Conference in July 2009---I called attention to problems created by the limited access to some manuscripts of the works of Shenoute. Dissertations and published work occasionally cited texts according to a private system for labeling unpublished material and, as a result, other scholars could not verify or follow up on points made. In 2014, we are waiting for many critical editions and translations of Shenoute, but the publication of Canon 8 by Anne Boud’hors, in late 2013, gives some indication of what might be learned from future critical editions. After a brief review of other research on Shenoute that has appeared in the last five years, I will focus on one text of the seven edited and translated by Boud’hors: My Heart Is Crushed. This very long text is almost completely preserved and so provides important evidence for Shenoute’s dealings with the women’s community and for his understanding of the meaning of chronic, serious illness when experienced by a Christian---in this case, Shenoute.
Title: Our—Perhaps Surprising—Contemporary?: A Review of "Shenoute of Atripe and the Uses of Poverty"
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian (Bakersfield, Ca)
Shenoute of Atripe “has a bad reputation in modern scholarship” (López, Shenoute of Atripe). In Shenoute of Atripe and the Uses of Poverty, Ariel G. López strives to situate Shenoute in his time and place, not as “an aberrant character but rather a faithful exponent of his age.” The author studies Shenoute as a public figure; analyzes Shenoute’s welfare activities on behalf of the poor; examines the “new economics” of the Roman state, rural patronage, and economically powerful monasteries; and uses “a tight integration of documentary and literary sources” to look at the violence surrounding Shenoute.
López uses Sociology and History to help us better understand exactly who “the poor” were in Shenoute’s day. He also disarticulates “wealth” and, by rearticulating it, gives us a healthier understanding of the many valences wealth had in Shenoute’s world. The topic of wealth is not “merely” a “religious” matter; wealth had—has—social, economic, and political implications. Shenoute developed a three-prong attack regarding wealth and poverty: (1) help the poor; (2) criticize the wealthy for abusing the poor; and (3) exhort the rich to help the poor. López sees in Shenoute’s activities outside his monastery an unusual, if not unique, monastic leader in Egypt who challenged “the ideology of innocent prosperity.” He concludes that, not surprisingly, Shenoute’s efforts at extirpating Roman worship (if that’s what they were) met with considerable resistance, even blowback.
Title: Salam of Anba Shenoute
Presenter: Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef (Melbourne, Australia)
This paper will discuss a text related to St. Shenoute found in an unpublished manuscript titled, Salamat, preserved in the library of a Bani Sueif church. It will include text and translation of this short text. Also I will provide a commentary that will compare historical information found in this text in comparison with both the published Bohairic and Arabic versions of his Vita.
Title: The Visions of Anba Shenouda: A Report on Two Previously Unedited Arabic MSS
Presenter: Dr. Jason Zaborowski (Bradley University, Illinois)
The St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Society has obtained two mss containing Arabic recensions of the Visions of Anba Shenouda. The Visions are one part of a varied corpus of texts centering on Coptic Apocalyptic traditions that found expression in Coptic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Greek, and Syriac throughout a long history from pre-Islamic to Islamic times. Like many texts in the Copto-Arabic tradition, the Arabic Visions of Anba Shenouda is unavailable in English translations, despite its relevance to understanding Coptic eschatological thought in the Medieval period. Texts of the Visions corpus have been cited as evidence of the enduring legacy of St. Shenoute in popular Coptic piety (Frankfurter 1998), and surveyed for their reuse of tropes appearing in other Arab Christian apocalyptic texts (Grypeou 2013), but the text also merits special attention to various themes, particularly ecclesiology. Thus, this essay presents a report on lessons learned from the current work of editing and translating these two previously unstudied mss.
Prepared by Hany N. Takla, July 17, 2014
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