"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).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Coptic-Muslim Relations

Stanford University Press has a new book out that will be expertly reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies in the next year or so:

Rachel M. Scott, The Challenge of Political Islam: Non-Muslims and the Egyptian State (SUP, 2010), 296pp.

Coptic-Muslim relations are far from straightforward, and trying to get an accurate, current, and unvarnished account of what is going on is not easy. There have been studies written over the years, but many of them are now dated, and the situation on the ground in Egypt is so volatile, that it is hazardous to rely too heavily on material even from a few years ago. Compounding the problem is that Copts in Egypt often have a different perspective on the same events than Copts do outside Egypt. It is easy for non-residents to denounce what look to be clear violations of Coptic rights in Egypt, but sometimes, I'm told, such denunciations, however well meaning, create more problems or worsen existing ones as resident Copts must bear the brunt of the backlash. I look forward to seeing if Scott is up to the task of sorting through these many issues in all their complexity.

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