"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).

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Copts in Modernity

Remember those happy days when we could travel to international conferences? Remember how long the flight to Australia was? I do, but the older I get the less I like being shoe-horned onto an airplane with other hacking and sneezing people for any length of time, least of all for a long overseas flight. 

Nevertheless, a good conference at the other end is worth it, and this Melbourne conference from 2018 sounds like it had some of the leading Coptologists at it, whose papers are now gathered together in Copts in Modernity:Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium of Coptic Studies, Melbourne, 13-16 July 2018, eds., Elizabeth Agaiby, Mark N. Swanson, and Nelly van Doorn-Harder (Brill, 2021), 456pp. 

Part of their long-running series, Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity, this volume from Brill, they tell us, is 

a collection of essays – many of which contain unpublished archival material – showcasing historical and contemporary aspects pertaining to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The volume covers three main themes: The first theme, History, gathers studies that look back to the nineteenth and late eighteenth centuries to understand the realities of the twentieth and twenty-first; the second theme, Education, Leadership and Service, explores the role of religious education in the revival of the Church and how Coptic religious principles influenced the ideas of leadership and service that resulted in the Church’s spiritual revival; and the third theme, Identity and Material Culture, draws upon a broad range of material and visual culture to exemplify the role they play in creating and recreating identities. This volume brings together the work of senior and early career scholars from Australia, Europe, Egypt, and the United States.

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