July 17-18, 2015
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 the final schedule for the conference:
Friday, July 17, 2015
| 10:00-10:05 a.m.
|10:05-10:30 a.m.||Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef, Importance of the Coptic Language in the Coptic Psalmodia|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Rev. Prof. Tim Vivian, Review of Bentley Layton "The Canons of Our Father: Monastic Rules of Shenoute"|
|11:15-11:45 a.m.||Ms. Patricia Eshagh, The Prayer Culture of Early Egyptian Monasticism|
|11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.||Dr. Darlene Brooks Hedstrom, The Archaeology of Egyptian Monastic Kitchens|
|12:30-1:30 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|Dr. Gawdat Gabra, Apostle Thomas and the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary in the Art of the Copts|
Ms. Tamara Siuda, Saint Julius of Aqfahs (Yulius El-Akfehasi): Martyr and Martyrologist
Fr. Dr. John Paul Abdelsayed, The New St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological School (ACTS)
|3:15-3:45 p.m.||Dr. Monica Bontty, A case study of intermarriage between a Copt and Non-Copt|
|3:45-4:15 p.m.||Ms. Mary Ghattas, Cosmopolitan Alexandria: Egyptian and Foreign Christianities, 1810-1952|
|4:15-4:45 p.m.||Dr. Donald Westbrook & Dr. Saad Michael Saad, Forces and Fields of Identity Preservation in the Coptic Diaspora|
|7:30-8:30 p.m.||Tour of the new Bible in Egypt Exhibit at the Coptic Cultural Museum of the St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies, located at 1494 So. Robertson Blvd, LA, CA 90035, Ste 200.|
Saturday, July 18, 2015
|9:30-10:00 a.m.||Hany N. Takla, The Journey Continues -The State of the Society 2014-2015|
|10:00-10:30 a.m.||Mr. Ramez Mikhail, The Presanctified Liturgy of St. Mark according to a Sinai Arabic Manuscript|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Dr. Faten Morris Guirguis, Coptic Identity, Modern Martyrdom, Orality and Diffusion|
|11:15-11:45 a.m.||Dr. Caroline Schroeder, Preserving Coptic Cultural Heritage for the Digital Future|
|11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.||Prof. David Brakke, Making Shenoute an Author: Ancient and Modern Publications of the "Discourses"|
|12:30-1:30 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|1:30-2:00 p.m.||Dr. Vince Bantu, Faith and Identity Politics in Sixth Century Anti-Chalcedonian Egypt|
|2:00-2:45 p.m.||Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail, Saint Bishoy (Paisius) “the Perfect Man” in the Arabic Tradition|
|3:00-3:30 p.m.||Dr. Jason Zaborowski, The Legacy of Scetis in Arabic Recensions of the "Apophthegmata Patrum"|
|3:30-4:15 p.m.||Prof. Mark Swanson A World-Conqueror in Christian Teaching? The Varied Roles of Alexander the Great in Copto-Arabic Literature|
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 New St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological School (ACTS)
Presenter: Fr. Dr. John Paul Abdelsayed
In 1987, the Trice-Blessed Pope Shenouda III sent various correspondences to the clergy of Los Angeles regarding his desire to establish a theological school in North America. After much effort and examination, two theological seminaries were inaugurated during H.H.'s second papal visit to the United States in November 1989--one in Los Angeles, and the other in New Jersey. Theschool grew in the following years, bringing forth two graduating classes.Afterthe establishment ofthe Diocese of Los Angeles in 1995, a Department of Christian Education was established. In 2007, the Diocese established St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological Library to assemble a theological library, organizetheological conferences and seminars, and various events throughout the Diocese.In 2015, the two organizations were merged to form Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril Theological School (ACTS), currently based in Pomona, California under the guidance, auspices and blessing of His Grace Bishop Serapion. ACTS is now working in conjunction with a number of theological schools and institutions to further establish a reputable Orthodox Theological Institution. Among these important institutions, we are closely working with St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society todevelop one of the foremost Coptic Studies departments in the area.
Title: Losing My Religion: A case study of intermarriage between a Copt and Non-Copt
Presenter: Dr. Monica Bontty
In this paper focus will be primarily on the effects of a bicultural/religious marriage on the children in the family.
Title: Faith and Identity Politics in Sixth Century Anti-Chalcedonian Egypt
Presenter: Dr. Vince Bantu
This project analyzes Coptic anti-Chalcedonian literature with a focus on the ethnic rhetoric that increasingly frames Egyptian theological discourse in Late Antiquity. Sixth-century Egyptian anti-Chalcedonians and their response to Justinian will be highlighted in an analysis of identity development in the period between the Chalcedonian schism and the Islamic Conquest. This project will explore the relationship between the post-Chalcedonian surge of ethnic rhetoric in Coptic texts with the ecclesiastical developments of the fifth and sixth centuries. Sixth-century Egyptian identity politics will be investigated in a reevaluation of the view that the Islamic Conquest marks the advent of Egyptian Christians framing their identity in ethnic terms.
Title: Making Shenoute an Author: Ancient and Modern Publications of the "Discourses"
Presenter: Prof. David Brakke
Most of Shenoute’s works survive in two multi-volume collections: the Canons and the Discourses. Although it seems that Shenoute himself organized the Canons, his followers constructed the Discourses in the years after his death. How did they conceive of Shenoute as an author? Examination of the codices of Discourses Volume 4 will suggest that the editors organized Shenoute’s writings in in order to present him as an authoritative leader and teacher of all Christians, not just of monks, and that these works gained quasi-scriptural status in the late ancient and medieval periods. Modern projects of publishing Shenoute present their own versions of him as an author.
Title: The Archaeology of Egyptian Monastic Kitchens
Presenter: Dr. Darlene Brooks Hedstrom
Most studies of monastic food and diet have relied upon textual sources that reflect a rich attention to consumption habits and efforts tocontrol and monitor monastic behavior. With new archaeological attention toByzantine domestic settlements in the Mediterranean, it is possible to offer an enhanced narrative as to what monks ate, grew, and prepared for the ascetic table. My discussion focusesprimarilyon the built environment of the Egyptian monastic kitchen, comprised of mud brick ovens, stoves, and storage facilities. Within theses spaces, one can also consider the role of ceramic wares, the importance of sensorial experiences with food, and thesignificance of undecorated spaces within the monastic built environment.My survey of the monastic kitchens in Egypt will help illustrate the differences in site design at a variety of monastic settlements and then offer new insight into the independence that monastic cooks had in food preparation. By using documentary and archaeological evidence, I will illustrate also how Egyptian monastic kitchens were far more complex than the kitchen facilities at non-monastic, late antique settlements.
Title: The Prayer Culture of Early Egyptian Monasticism
Presenter: Ms. Patricia Eshagh
The scholarship on prayer in early Egyptian monasticism tends to focus on isolated topics such as the analysis of biblical origins, spiritual purpose or practical function. Yet prayer also works well as a cultural artifact capable of representing the holistic essence of a particular monastic community. This paper explores that theory in relation to the prayer culture of early Egyptian monasticism. It considers the significance of prayer for the early Egyptian ascetic and uncovers the essence of its unique prayer culture which served as a model for other developing monastic communities
Title: Apostle Thomas and the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary in the Art of the Copts
Presenter: Dr. Gawdat Gabra
The first exhibition of Coptic art in the USA took place in the Brooklyn Museum in 1941. Among its exhibited pieces are three fragments of a tapestry-woven stole (Badrashil). They date from the 7th or 8th century. One of them features the Holy Virgin and the apostle Thomas between two crosses. Undoubtedly, the scene alludes to the tradition of the Assumption of the body of the Virgin and the coming of Thomas from India on the clouds and his meeting with the Virgin who was carried up to heaven. The presentation of this episode of Thomas in the art of the Copts as well as Arabic texts including the synaxarion of the Coptic Church (the 21st of Tubah and the 16th of Mesrah) will be discussed.
Title: Cosmopolitan Alexandria: Egyptian and Foreign Christianities, 1810-1952
Presenter: Ms. Mary Ghattas
Alexandria is the cradle of Christianity in Egypt. The city boasts of a glorious patristic past peppered with “greats” such as Clement, Origen, Athanasius, and Cyril. It was the seat of the Coptic Patriarchate for centuries. Alexandria remains in the pope’s title even to this day despite the fact that it has not been the papal residence since the eleventh century CE. Today, Alexandria is known as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and is the center of this ideology in Egypt. How a once Hellenized Christian city became a city of Islamist ideology lies in Alexandria’s modern history—from its transformation as the simple fishing village known as Rakoti to the cosmopolitan center internationally renowned as Alexandria, and finally to the 1952 revolution that practically emptied the city of its foreign element. This presentation will attempt to build a modern Christian history of “the great city of Alexandria” in order to explore the scaffolding that frames the city today
Title: Coptic Identity, Modern Martyrdom, Orality and Diffusion
Presenter: Dr. Fatin Morris Guirguis
The extraordinary tenacity of the historic Coptic identity in face of persecution was demonstrated in the collective martyrdom of the 21 Copts at the hands of ISIS. This highly televised act of subjection generated an empowering oral counter-narrative that is and will be told and retold and will continue to diffuse to the rest of the world.
This modern martyrdom, if seen within the persecuted historic identity of the Copts, demonstrates an episodic repeat of the exercise of Coptic identity and reveals an essentialist interpretation of this identity versus a modern ever-changing intellectual landscape. The national and global value of Coptic identity preservation and its resistance to erosion despite persecution is worthy of close evaluation for the Copts in Egypt, in diaspora and for the whole world.
Title: Saint Bishoy (Paisius) “the Perfect Man” in the Arabic Tradition
Presenter: Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail
St. Bishoy is one of the most revered monastic figures of the fourth and fifth centuries, and he remains and extremely popular saints in the Coptic Orthodox Church today. Yet, the core of his dossier remains either unpublished or inaccessible. This paper is one part of a larger project (with Tim Vivian) that aims to publish editions of the Greek and Arabic Lives of this saint along with English translations. Here the focus is on Saint Bishoy in the Arabic tradition.
Title: The Presanctified Liturgy of St. Mark according to a Sinai Arabic Manuscript
Presenter: Mr. Ramez Mikhail
Eucharistic reservation, the practice in which a portion of the Eucharistic elements is stored for later use is attested since late antiquity in the church of Alexandria, as well as throughout the Christian world. What began as a practice for private use was later institutionalized in various Christian traditions in the rite of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Scattered references from the Late Antique and Muslim periods point to the practice of Eucharistic reservation and the Liturgy of the Presanctified gifts in Egypt. The first part of this paper will present the evidence for this practice from historical and liturgical sources. Special reference will be made to such sources as the life of Pope Christodoulos, the 10th century Letter of Macarius, the rite of The Filling of the Chalice, and the Nubian liturgical texts of the Presanctified. The second part will discuss the hitherto unpublished Presanctified of Mark (MkPRES) attested in the manuscript Sinai Arabic 237 (13th c.) by providing an overview of the manuscript, and a liturgical analysis of the contents of this service.
Title: Preserving Coptic Cultural Heritage for the Digital Future
Presenter: Dr. Caroline Schroeder
Much of Coptic Cultural Heritage is preserved in museums and libraries and private collections, neither owned nor managed by Coptic Orthodox Christians. This is especially true for countless manuscripts bearing witness to Coptic literature. Some of these documents have been published, but they are often either out of print, prohibitively expensive, or in academic libraries. Digitization is one way to increase access to and awareness of Coptic Cultural Heritage, but it is not without challenges. This paper will propose ways Coptic Orthodox Christians and academics can work together to increase the availability of digitized Coptic literature; discuss potential obstacles that need to be overcome for effective partnerships; and describe data curation requirements for effective digital preservation.
Title: Saint Julius of Aqfahs (Yulius El-Akfehasi): Martyr and Martyrologist
Presenter: Ms. Tamara Siuda
According to the martyrdom of St. Shenoufe and His Brethren and a number of other Coptic martyrdoms, Julius of Aqfahs (Coptic Kbahs) began his career as a commentariensis during Diocletian's reign. At the Lord's call, Julius would "take care" of His martyrs, from making sure that their bodies were buried, to recording their trials and miracles in order that they might not be forgotten. Eventually, Julius would himself be martyred, along with his sons and a great multitude of Christian converts, and a cycle of Coptic martyrdoms would bear his name. Who was this mysterious convert who wrote the histories of so many martyrs, and what can we know about how one of Diocletian's servants would go on to become the martyrs' greatest support?
Title: A World-Conqueror in Christian Teaching? The Varied Roles of Alexander the Great in Copto-Arabic Literature
Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson
Over the past several years I have been struck by the frequency with which one encounters stories about Alexander the Great in the medieval Arabic literature of the Copts. While it might be expected that the fourth-century BCE Macedonian conqueror would find a place in the specifically historical writings of the Copts, in fact we find Alexander-material in theological, homiletic, and even predominantly liturgical literature. What is he doing there? What roles does he play?
This presentation will look at some of the ways that the Alexander-material functions in a few selected texts. It builds on previous work, including a fine new survey by Adel Sidarus, “Alexandre le grand chez les Coptes (recherches récentes et perspectives nouvelles),” in Orientalia Christiana: Festschrift für Hubert Kaufhold zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. P. Bruns and H.O. Luthe (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2013), 477-89.This presentation represents an early stage in what I anticipate will be an ongoing study. Just so, I look forward to receiving feedback and guidance from other participants in the UCLA-St. Shenouda Conference.
Title: Review of Bentley Layton "The Canons of Our Father: Monastic Rules of Shenoute"
Presenter: Prof. Tim Vivian
Title: Forces and Fields of Identity Preservation in the Coptic Diaspora
Presenter: Dr. Donald Westbrook & Dr. Saad Michael Saad
Identity preservation in the Coptic Diaspora is facilitated by a number of factors, including the richness and diversity of Coptic civilization, concentrated efforts by advocates in the clergy and laity of the Coptic Church, and even the efforts of non-Copt researchers who contribute to Coptic Studies as an academic discipline. This paper examines several forces at play in the formation, safeguarding, and perpetuation of religious identity in the Coptic Diaspora, as expressed (for instance) in the forms of language, art, music, oral tradition, monastic spirituality, martyrology,education, and scholarship. In each of these fields, we find contemporary champions who exert national and even transnational influences over the manner in which Copts outside Egypt discover, negotiate, and construct their identities--both in tension and accord with the cultures of their new homelands.
Title: Importance of the Coptic Language in the Coptic Psalmodia
Presenter: Dr. Youhanna Nessim Youssef
In the Coptic Church, there is actually a trend to pray in Arabic or English and to leave the Coptic language. In this paper, I will only give few examples from Coptic Psalmodia. I choose to use the Psalmodia as this text was composed originally in Coptic between the sixth and the eighth centuries.
I will highlight some features that show that the most of the translations did not reflect the richness and the aim of the Coptic text.
I will only treat three points:
My aim is to demonstrate with this discussion that by using the translations, we lose the aim of the text.
Title: The Legacy of Scetis in Arabic Recensions of the Apophthegmata Patrum.
Presenter: Dr. Jason Zaborowski
Scholarship has long recognized the monastic settlements of Scetis as a wellspring of the Apophthegmata Patrum (Sayings of the Desert Fathers). Wisdom sayings in the Apophthegmata collections frequently refer to Scetis, and many sayings are attributed to the settlement’s founder, Abba Macarius the Egyptian (c. AD 300-390). This essay examines how the legacy of Scetis is transmitted in one of the earliest known Arabic translations of the Apophthegmata Patrum, MS Strasbourg 4225 (AD 900). The paper shows that the Strasbourg Arabic collection of Apophthegms, in its translation of Greek Vorlage, minimizes the role of Scetis by expressing a more generalized conception of sacred place in Egypt. The paper explains the Arabic manuscript’s diminishment of the legacy of Scetis within the historical context of the post-Islamic takeover of Egypt.
Prepared by Hany N. Takla, July 12, 2015
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