"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, August 7, 2020

Preserving Coptic Heritage

The precarious plight of Coptic Christians in their homeland seems to be one of those depressing constants of Egypt today, as it has been for some time. Among the many worries about attacks on Copts and their churches are also questions of preserving Coptic heritage, treated in a new book: Egypt's Christian Heritage: Cultural Heritage Management and Egypt's Coptic Monuments by  Dan Heale (BAR Press, 2020), 184pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:
The Christian cultural heritage of north Africa is ancient and rich, but at risk after recent political events. The Christian, Coptic heritage of Egypt remains poorly studied from the perspective of heritage management and is also at risk from a number of factors. Using first-hand study and analysis based upon original fieldwork, Egypt's Christian Heritage offers an assessment to the risks facing Coptic monuments in Egypt today. It does this by situating Egyptian heritage policy within the English framework, and it establishes theoretical approaches to value, significance, meaning, and interpretation in Egyptian heritage within a wider global framework. The research is based on the analysis of three markedly different Egyptian Christian Coptic sites, each with their own unique management issues. This book offers a series of solutions and ideas to preserve, manage and interpret this unique material culture and to emphasise community solutions as being the most viable and sustainable approaches, whilst taking into account the varied levels of significance of these monuments.

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