"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, February 11, 2022

Medieval Arabic Commentaries on the Coptic Liturgy

I am very glad to see that the Coptic tradition continues steadily to garner more and more scholarly attention. Our knowledge will only increase with the publication next week of Guides to the Eucharist in Medieval Egypt: Three Arabic Commentaries on the Coptic Liturgy (Fordham University Press, 15 February 2022), 240pp.

Part of Fordham UP's Christian Arabic Texts in Translation series, this book is authored by Yūḥannā ibn Sabbā‘, Abū al-Barakāt ibn Kabar, and Pope Gabriel V of Alexandria and translated by Arsenius Mikhail. About the book the publisher tells us this:
The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries witnessed a rising interest in Arabic texts describing and explaining the rituals of the Coptic Church of Egypt. This book provides readers with an English translation of excerpts from three key texts on the Coptic liturgy by Abū al-Barakāt ibn Kabar, Yūh.annā ibn Sabbā‘, and Pope Gabriel V. With a scholarly introduction to the works, their authors, and the Coptic liturgy, as well as a detailed explanatory apparatus, this volume provides a useful and needed introduction to the worship tradition of Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Presented for the first time in English, these texts provide valuable points of comparison to other liturgical commentaries produced elsewhere in the medieval Christian world.

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