1494 S. Robertson Blvd, Suite 104, Los Angeles, CA 90035
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info@stshenouda.org

22nd St. Shenouda-UCLA Conference of Coptic Studies July 16-17, 2021

Coptic Society

22nd St. Shenouda-UCLA Conference of Coptic Studies, July 16-17, 2021 (Online)

Registration fee is free, but limited to 100 attendees and we have already exceeded the limit, so the registration is closed. If you think you need to attend and want to be on the waiting list, email info@stshenouda.org by midnight July 15, Pacific Standard time. You will get email notification within a week of the convening of the conference. If you would like to make a contribution to the activities of the Society, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2021

 10:00-10:05a.m.                  Opening Remarks by Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney (NELC-UCLA)

10:10-10:30 a.m.                 Hany N, Takla, The State of the Society.

10:30-11:00 a.m.                 Ms. Maggie A. Tawadros, St. Shenouda Cultural Museum: Preservation, Education, and Historical Exploration

11:00-11:30 a.m.                 Mr. Mina Makar, The Making of the Coptic Bible phone App

11:30-12:30 p.m.                 Lunch Recess

 12:30-1:00 p.m.                   Prof. Salim Faraji, Reflecting Ancient Egyptian Magic & Coptic Ritual Power: A Consideration of Funerary Prayer Inscriptions in Medieval Christian Nubia

1:00-1:30 p.m.                      Ms. Rachel Abdoler, From This Arise Four Doubts: Buṭrus al-Sadamantī's use of Abu al-Faraj ‘Abdallāh Ibn al-Ṭayyib in his Commentary on Christ's Prayer in Gethsemane.

1:30-2:00 p.m.                      Prof. Tim Vivian, Rivalry in the Desert: Jerome’sLife of Paul of Thebes”

2:00-2:15 p.m.     Break

2:15-2:45 p.m.                     Mr. Lance Martin, Prof. Caroline T. Schroeder,  Prof. Amir Zeldes, Digitally Linking People and Places in Coptic Literature

2:45-3:15 p.m.                      Dr. Botros (Peter) Karam Sadek, Dr. Saad Michael Saad, The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia through the Eyes of Digital Humanities.

3:15-3:30 p.m.                     Break

 3:30-4:00 pm                        Assistant Prof. So Miyagawa, Prof. Heike Behlmer, Levenshtein Distance and Conceptual Blending in Psalm Quotations in Shenoute, Canon 6

4:00-4:30 p.m.                      Hany N. Takla, The Hamuli Collection (the Phantoou Library) Reassessed


Saturday, July 17, 2021

10:00-10:30 a.m.                 Prof. Paola Buzi, Brief considerations on the long-lasting life of the scriptorium of the White Monastery: the contribution of two witnesses from the Apostolic Vatican Library

10:30-11:00 a.m.                 Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef, Joseph in the Coptic liturgical texts

11:00-11:15 a.m.                 Break

11:15-11:45 a.m.                   Prof. Janet Timbie, Teaching ‘Many Times’ (Shenoute, Canons, Book 8) in the Zoom Classroom: from parsing of verbs to translation to interpretation

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.       Prof. Febe Armanios, The Church in Your Home: The Rise of Coptic Satellite Channels

12:15 - 1:00 p.m.                 Lunch Recess

1:00-1:30 pm                        Dr. Christina Nagy Wadea Georges, The Relationship between the Coptic Funeral Scenes and the Artist's Message

1:30-2:00 p.m.                     Prof. Monica Bontty, Untangling the Roots of a Coptic Lice Comb.

2:00-2:15 p.m.                Break

2:15-2:45 p.m.                     Dr. Daniel Girgis, ⲡⲓⲣⲁⲛ ⲙⲫⲛⲟⲩϯ: The Name of God in the Coptic Liturgical Tradition

2:45-3:15 p.m.                     Dr. Michael Beshay, The Prayer of Mary "in Bartos": A New Trajectory of the Virgin's Veneration in Coptic Magic

3:15-3:30 p.m.                Break

3:30-4:00 p.m.                    Dr. Lisa Agaiby, Copto-Arabic Sayings Attributed to St. Antony The Great

4:00-4:45 a.m.                    Prof. Mark Swanson, Another Look at Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ and the Beginnings of Copto-Arabic Theology

 

 

 

Conference is online via zoom conferencing software. The conference link will be emailed to the conference registrants at least a week in advance of the conference date.

+ Ms. Rachel Abdoler, University of Chicago, IL

+ Dr. Lisa Agaiby, St Athanasius College, University of Divinity, Melbourne Australia

+ Prof. Febe Armanios, Middlebury  College, VT

+ Prof. Heike Behlmer, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

+ Dr. Michael Beshay, Ohio State University, OH

+ Prof. Monica Bontty, University of Louisiana, LA

+ Prof. Paola Buzi, University of Rome, Italy

+ Prof. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney, UCLA, CA

+ Prof. Salim Faraji, California State University, Dominquez Hills, CA

+ Dr. Christina Nagy Wadea Georges, Ain Shams University, Egypt

+ Dr. Daniel Girgis, St. Vladimir Seminary, NY

+ Mr. Mina Makar, St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society/ACTS, CA

+ Mr. Lance Martin, Catholic University of America, DC

+ Mr. So Miyagawa, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany/ Kyoto University, Japan

+ Dr. Saad Michael Saad, Clairemont Graduate University, CA

+ Professor Carrie Schroeder, University of Oklahoma, OK

+ Dr. Botros (Peter) Sadek, Clatemont Graduate University, CA

+ Prof. Mark Swanson, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL

+ Mr. Hany N. Takla, St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society/ ACTS, CA

+ Ms. Maggie A. Tawadros, Claremont Graduate University, CA

+ Prof. Janet Timbie, Catholic University of America, DC

+ Prof. Tim Vivian, CSUB, CA

+ Dr. Youhanna Nessim Youssef, Sankt Ignatios College, Stockholm Sweden

+ Prof. Amir Zeldes, Georgetown University, DC

 

Presenter: Ms. Rachel Abdoler

Title: From This Arise Four Doubts: Buṭrus al-Sadamantī's use of Abu al-Faraj ‘Abdallāh Ibn al-Ṭayyib in his Commentary on Christ's Prayer in Gethsemane.

Abstract

By way of a brief abstract, this paper offers some preliminary remarks on the 13th century Coptic theologian Buṭrus al-Sadamantī's incorporation of parts of the early 11th century text Tafsīr al-Maŝriqī from Ibn al-Ṭayyib.  In particular, this paper explores the way Buṭrus al-Sadamantī significantly elaborates and expounds on the four doubts arising from Christ's prayer in Gethsemane as found in Tafsīr al-Maŝriqī.


Presenter: Dr. Lisa Agaiby

Title: Copto-Arabic Sayings Attributed to St. Antony The Great

Abstract

The sayings in the Apophthegmata Patrum attributed to St. Antony the Great exist in various textual traditions, recensions, and linguistic manifestations and, together with the Life of Antony, are authoritative texts for understanding Antony and his community. The sayings have been spoken, read, transcribed, and practiced as part of monastic discipline for generations; thus, testifying to the influence Antony’s sayings have had across both chronological and cultural divides. The sayings attributed to Antony in Arabic, in particular in the Copto-Arabic tradition, exist in a vast number of manuscripts, most of which are still untapped in monastic libraries. Interestingly, a surprising number of sayings attributed to Antony in Arabic are unattested in either the Greek or Coptic recensions and, based on the dating of the Arabic manuscripts, it appears the unattested ‘additional’ sayings were gradually incorporated into the Arabic Apophthegmata from around the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, with the majority of additional sayings incorporated in the eighteenth century. This paper provides an overview on the background to the Copto-Arabic tradition on Antony’s unattested sayings.


Presenter: Prof. Febe Armanios

Title: The Church in Your Home: The Rise of Coptic Satellite Channels

Abstract

This paper traces the history of specific Coptic television stations mostly in Egypt but also in the diaspora, as part of a larger book project on the history of Christian television in the Middle East. Coptic satellite channels, from 2005 till the present, reveal how the church and its laity (belatedly) adopted television technologies to address shifting religious discourses and onerous political pressures. Coptic channels have aspired to be a one-stop-shop for believing families, to be “the church within your home” as one channel logo emphasized and, in many cases, to dissuade Copts from engaging with (profane) secular or non-Orthodox programming. With time, these media have come to reflect diverse religious and political interests revealing how television has both amplified and nuanced extant conceptualizations of a Coptic communal identity.

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Presenter: Dr. Michael Beshay

Title: The Prayer of Mary "in Bartos": A New Trajectory of the Virgin's Veneration in Coptic Magic

Abstract:

The prayer of Mary “in Bartos” is described as one of the most prominent examples of Coptic magic and ritual power. It derives its name from the historiola, preserved in one medieval Ethiopic text, of Mary praying “in Bartos” to release the apostle Matthias from prison. Several earlier witnesses to Mary’s prayer tell a story of resilience and change, from its early foundation in Manichaean and Gnostic theologies, to its subordination to traditions of Mary’s dormition, to the tale of prison break for which it is celebrated today.

Analysis of Mary’s prayer highlights a new trajectory of Marian veneration in antiquity. Scholars typically argue that Marian elevation was a reflexive defense of “orthodoxy”; yet careful examination of Mary’s prayer and apocryphal sources reveals extensive roots in “heretical” doctrines and practices. Long after the decline of Gnostics, Valentinians, and Manichaeans in Egypt, traces of their speculations concerning Mary or similar motherly figures can still be found in Coptic literary and ritual texts.

A diachronic examination of Mary’s prayer also exposes shortcomings endemic in the study of Coptic "magic" and ritual devices. Far too rarely are these artifacts arranged diachronically or analyzed as redacted traditions, and dating of these materials is decided mainly through paleography, archaeology, or explicit chronological references. Unlike most historical documents, these artifacts are treated exclusively as objects—not traditions—an approach at odds with the fact that they appear in compilations constructed over centuries. Thus, Mary’s prayer offers a case study for exploring processes by which ancient experts engaged “magical” traditions over time.

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Presenter: Prof. Monica Bontty

Title: Untangling the Roots of a Coptic Lice Comb

Abstract

This paper examines a wooden Coptic comb that was bequeathed to the presenter by an anonymous donor. It was deaccessioned from a museum and sold to a private party. The comb is made of wood, and is probably a lice comb. Although not complete, it is similar to other lice combs. Thus, a comparison with like-shaped combs will enable a proper dating of the item. Additionally, the comb will be tested for lice.

Presenter: Prof. Paola Buzi

Title: Brief considerations on the long-lasting life of the scriptorium of the White Monastery: the contribution of two witnesses from the Apostolic Vatican Library.

Abstract:

In the last decade many studies - of paleographic, codicological, philological and archaeological nature - have contributed to outline the life span of the scriptorium of the White Monastery and in particular of the extreme phase of its life.
A further small contribution can come from two fragmentary palimpsests preserved in the Vatican Apostolic Library, which also have the merit of documenting a common practice, namely that of the reuse of manuscripts. They will be briefly discussed in my presentation.

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Presenter: Prof. Salim Faraji

Title: Reflecting Ancient Egyptian Magic & Coptic Ritual Power: A Consideration of Funerary Prayer Inscriptions in Medieval Christian Nubia

Abstract

A recent discovery of what is believed to be the largest cathedral in Medieval Nubia excavated by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology has garnered renewed attention on the significance of the Makurian kingdom and its capital Old Dongola as a formidable Christian state during the Middle Ages.  This presentation will offer some ruminations on the funerary prayer inscriptions of the 11th century Archbishop Georgios of Dongola.  The tomb walls of this Makurian ecclesiastical leader were found covered in prayers, incantations and liturgical rites that reflected an intertextual association with Coptic prayers, both canonical and magical texts.  These Medieval Nubian funerary rites also reveal an allusion to the ancient Egyptian trope of the overthrow of chaos and disorder as embodied in the serpent Apep.  Medieval Nubian Christianity like its counterparts Egyptian and Ethiopian Christianity exhibited ancient cultural practices that were indigenous to the Nile Valley for over three millennia.


Presenter: Dr. Christina Nagy Wadea Georges

Title: The Relationship between the Coptic Funeral Scenes and the Artist's Message

Abstract

In Egypt, art was always connected to the religion, because it appeared to serve the religious beliefs. So, it is not unusual that the Egyptian art developed through the religious changes in the Egyptian society. In fact, there were some factors from the Egyptian heritage that influenced other Arts, which made these arts distinguished from their counterparts in other places. One of these arts is the Coptic Art. The Coptic art and its features extend back to the Old Kingdom, and it is deeply rooted in ancient Egyptian art. The Coptic Art has also other features from Roman Art.

The Funeral paintings in Al-Bagawat Necropolis in Kharga Oasis are a living document reflecting a true commitment of the Coptic artist to his ancient Egyptian heritage. The Exodus chapel artist used the Ancient Egyptian and Roman elements to depict his funerary themes. In using these elements, he formed an integrated unit with the Christian faith without affecting the substance of the Christian religion as whole.

The Artist of Al-Bagawat drew about 14 different scenes in one chapel. He picked those scenes wisely. All those scenes are related to each other, and the artist placed his message throughout those scenes. In this paper, I will try to explore the relationship between those scenes and the artist's message.


Presenter: Dr. Daniel Girgis

Title: ⲡⲓⲣⲁⲛ ⲙⲫⲛⲟⲩϯ: The Name of God in the Coptic Liturgical Tradition

Abstract

This presentation seeks to explore the paradigmatic event of the revelation of God’s name in the Coptic text of the Exodus.  Furthermore, this piece intends to identify how God's name has been employed in Coptic Eucharistic prayers and liturgical chants. Finally, this work will examine the use of God’s name as means of Christocentric exegesis of Scripture, specifically within the Coptic Psalmody. All in all, this presentation reveals a hidden motif in the Coptic liturgical tradition: the confession of Jesus Christ as the one Who Is  in the Scriptures.


Presenter: Mr. Mina Makar

Title: The Making of the Coptic Bible App

Abstract

The Coptic Bible is one of the oldest translations of the Bible with texts dating back as early as the 2nd Century AD. Although its Old Testament has survived incomplete in any one dialect, there is enough surviving texts of the Old and New Testaments among the different dialects to compose an almost complete text of the Bible as a whole. Throughout the years there have been many publications of the different surviving texts. Yet, there has never been an attempt to compile all the surviving texts into one source. The vision of St. Shenouda Coptic Society and the inception of the Coptic Bible app served to remedy this matter. Thus, the compiled texts of the Society over the past 40 years were used to compile, organize, and present all the surviving texts among the different dialects into one easy-to-use handheld application, presenting all the surviving texts in a parallel fashion with the addition of Greek and English texts for reference. This presentation aims to discuss the process of creating the Coptic Bible app, the features included in the first release, and discuss some of the difficulties and challenges encountered along the way.


Presenter: Mr. Lance Martin, Prof. Caroline T. Schroeder,  Prof. Amir Zeldes

Title: Digitally Linking People and Places in Coptic Literature

Abstract:

The Coptic Scriptorium project (https://copticscriptorium.org) uses interdisciplinary digital and computational methods to make richly annotated Coptic texts openly available online. In this paper, we present the project’s latest work on linked open data for named entities in Coptic literature. Linked open data is a feature enabled by the open web, where publicly available data in one place (such as Coptic Scriptorium’s website) links to stable information related to that data elsewhere on the public internet. Our recent work has focused on identifying named entities (people, places and more) mentioned in Coptic texts and linking them to other resources online. This paper presents the newest developments of our entity coverage, progress in “wikification” (linking to Wikipedia entries) for our Sahidic New Testament and Sahidic Old Testament data, and new applications and research directions for researchers.

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Presenter: Assistant Prof. So Miyagawa, Prof. Heike Behlmer

Title: Levenshtein Distance and Conceptual Blending in Psalm Quotations in Shenoute, Canon 6

Abstract (Tentative):

Shenoute, arguably the most prolific Coptic author of the 4th and 5th centuries, left a large corpus of writings in Sahidic. In his letters and sermons, he frequently quotes the Bible, and his writing is steeped in Biblical language. Shenoute uses both verbatim quotations and modified quotations or allusions without the use of quotation signals, in order to make the Biblical text relevant to the current situation addressed in his letters. The present talk will discuss some results of a case study of the use of the Psalms in Shenoute’s Canon 6. Canon 6, one of the collections of his works on monastic life, was digitally transcribed using the Virtual Manuscript Room of the Digital Edition of the Coptic Old Testament (http://coptot.manuscriptroom.com/) and the text exported in TEI XML. On this corpus and a digital base text of the Sahidic Bible offered by the Coptic Old Testament project, we ran TRACER, a program to detect text reuse (quotations, allusions, et cetera). In this paper, after an introduction to the methodology used, we first determine the Levenshtein Distance (edit distance) between the original Psalm text and some of Shenoute’s quotations to measure the degree of modification of the Biblical Psalm text. We then analyze the contextual re-adaptation of the Psalm text evident from the modification through the application of Conceptual Blending Theory.

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Presenter: Dr. Botros (Peter) Karam Sadek, Dr. Saad Michael Saad

Title: The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia through the Eyes of Digital Humanities

Abstract

This paper analyzes the corpus of the Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (big data) using the tools of digital humanities. It depicts the whole corpus in a nutshell and discovers some insights that can be hidden from conventional reading. The two thousand articles (+) are classified and categorized into topics (Topic Modeling), and the points of strengths and weaknesses of the corpus are highlighted.

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Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson

Title: Another Look at Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ and the Beginnings of Copto-Arabic Theology

Abstract

It was twenty years ago that the Author gave a paper for the first time at a St. Shenouda Conference (which was subsequently published in the first issue of Coptica). In it, he showed how Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ, bishop of al-Ashmūnayn (10th c. CE), in his Kitāb al-bayān al-mukhtaṣar fi l-īmān ("A Brief Exposition of the Faith") drew extensively from the earlier Arabic work of a Syriac Orthodox apologist, Kitāb Usṭāth al-Rāhib ("The Book of Eustathius the Monk").

The present paper revisits this earlier work and will offer some observations about Sāwīrus and the beginnings of Arabic-language theological writing in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It will also offer some comments on how research has changed over the course of twenty years!


Presenter: Mr. Hany N. Takla

Title: The Hamuli Collection (the Phantoou Library) Reassessed

Abstract

The discovery of the Hamuli Collection has caused a revolutionized the study of Coptic Literature due to its size and minimal dismemberment in comparison to the larger but much deteriorated state of the St. Shenouda Monastery collection. The Henri Hyvernat's Facsimile edition made it much more accessible to scholars. However, it is not all roses so to speak. In addition to surveying the history and the contents of this important library, this paper will reassess challenges that this collection present to scholars in the field.

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Presenter: Ms. Maggie A. Tawadros

Title: St. Shenouda Cultural Museum: Preservation, Education, and Historical Exploration

Abstract

The following study examines the St. Shenouda Cultural Museum and the ways in which it has used its socio-religious context to achieve its function(s), be it to preserve manuscripts, educate Copts and non-Copts on the history of the bible in Egypt, or explore the history of the bible in the land of Egypt. The paper discusses the permanent exhibition of the museum and how the museum’s “fluid” definition of the bible allows it to include a variety of manuscripts that fill in the gaps of the story of the bible in Egypt. This discussion also explores potential exhibits that can be held in years to come in order to display a more artistic perspective of the evolution of “Coptic Bible” history in Egypt.


Presenter: Prof. Janet Timbie

Title: Teaching Many Times (Shenoute, Canons, Book 8) in the Zoom Classroom: from parsing of verbs to translation to interpretation

Abstract

Before March 2020, some people already had considerable experience with online teaching. Others (including myself) made the transition from in-person to online abruptly in March 2020 with little or no training. Over the next 15 months my students at Catholic University (beginners to advanced) read a wide range of Coptic texts. I will illustrate some of our methods with examples from Shenoute’s Many Times, which was the last text we studied at the end of the spring semester, 2021. In Many Times, Shenoute confronts the monastic community with the constant sinfulness of some of its members, contrasting them unfavorably with non-monastic Christians.


Presenter: Prof. Tim Vivian

Title: Rivalry in the Desert: Jerome’s Life of Paul of Thebes

Abstract

Jim Goehring reminds us that Paul of Thebes or Paul the first hermit “quickly assumed importance in Egyptian tradition.” The Monastery of Saint Paul by the Red Sea (Dayr Anba Bula) near the famous Monastery of Saint Antony bears his name. But Paul’s fame spread beyond Egypt, most likely through monastic channels: in addition to the Coptic and Arabic recensions of the Latin Life by Jerome, there are two translations in Greek (from Egypt?) and further vitae in Syriac and Armenian. These different views bring us back to Jerome: Why did the famous monk of Bethlehem pen a story wherein Paul upstages Antony the Great but also fashion a tale that proclaims Paul’s monastic preeminence over the eminent Antony?

This paper uses a literary approach to discuss the Greek Life of Paul and its themes, especially vis-à-vis the Life’s efforts to have Paul upstage Antony, thus making Paul the first hermit in the farthest regions of the Egyptian desert.

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Presenter: Dr. Youhanna Nessim Youssef

Title: Joseph in the Coptic liturgical texts

Abstract

This paper deals with the figure of Joseph the patriarch in the Coptic mentality and how many places are related to him. However, he is absent from hagiographical literature. Further, the liturgical texts dealing with him are very few.
In this paper, the commemoration of Joseph in the Liturgical books will be explored, highlighting the places relating to him. Finally, a description of a manuscript containing a special hymn for this patriarch will be given in addition to the text of the hymn and its translation.

Forthcoming

Rachel Abdoler is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago Divinity School where she focuses on Christian theological texts written in Arabic in the medieval period.
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Lisa Agaiby Lisa Agaiby received a Ph.D. from Macquarie University, Sydney Australia and from the University of Göttingen, Germany. Her areas of interest include Early Egyptian Monasticism and Christian-Arabic Studies. Her latest publications include The Arabic Life of Antony Attributed to Serapion of Thmuis: Cultural Memory Reinterpreted (Brill, 2018); Copts in Modernity, Lisa Agaiby, Mark N. Swanson, and Nelly van Doorn Harder, eds. (Brill, 2021); and Door to the Wilderness: The Greek, Coptic and Arabic Sayings of Antony the Great, co-author with Tim Vivian (Brill, forthcoming October 2021). She is currently leading a project to digitise and catalogue the collection of manuscripts housed at the Monastery of St Paul the Hermit at the Red Sea, Egypt. Lisa is a Dumbarton Oaks Summer Fellow (2021) and is a member of the St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society.
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Febe Armanios is a Professor of History and Co-Director of the Axinn Center for the Humanities. She received her BA, MA, and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. She's an award-winning author whose research interests have focused on the history of Christian communities in the Middle East, particularly on Egypt's Coptic Christians, on Muslim-Christian relations, as well as food history and media studies. She has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School (ILSP). In the past, she has served as an Editorial Board member for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, as well as on the Steering Committee for the Middle Eastern Christianity Unit at the American Academy of Religion. Currently, she is on sabbatical completing a book-length project on the history of Christian television (terrestrial and satellite) in the Middle East (ca. 1980-present). She is a 2020-21 Luce-ACLS Fellow in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs and a Fordham University Fellow in Coptic Orthodox Studies. She has also begun research for another book project, which looks at the comparative history of Christian food practices in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southern Europe.

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Heike Behlmer studied Egyptology, Coptology and Ancient Oriental Studies in Göttingen. She stayed abroad and attained Dr.phil. in 1992. 1995–2003 research assistant/senior assistant. 2003-2004 substitute professor in Munich. 2004–2009 lecturer/senior lecturer at the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Sydney. Since 2009 Chair of Egyptology and Coptology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Member of the Academy of Sciences. Recent publications: Ägypten und der Christliche Orient (ed. with Frank Feder, Ute Pietruschka, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2018); Der Nachlass Paul de Lagarde. Orientalistische Netzwerke und antisemitische Verflechtungen (ed. with Thomas L. Gertzen, Orell Witthuhn, Berlin: De Gruyter 2020). Co-editor of the series Göttinger Orientforschungen IV. Series: Ägypten und Texte und Studien zur koptischen Bibel.

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Michael Beshay teaches at Convent & Stuart Hall, Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, CA. He received his B.A. in the Study of Religion and Post-bacc training in Classics at UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in History at The Ohio State University. His doctoral work focused on ritual traditions related to the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Egypt from the second to sixth centuries, and considers sources in Coptic, Greek, Latin, and Syriac. His interests include the study of Christianity in late antiquity, Nag Hammadi and Manichaean studies, ancient magic and ritual, and Coptic studies.

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Monica Bontty is a full professor of History at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. She holds a master (1983) and a PhD (1997) in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is an expert in ancient Egypt, the Near East, and the Mediterranean. As a doctoral candidate, Bontty studied and researched for her dissertation at the University of Gottingen in Gottingen, Germany. Her latest book, "Ancient Rome: Facts and Fictions" was published in 2020. She is a long time member of the St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society.

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Paola Buzi is Full Professor of Egyptology and Coptic Studies at Sapienza University of Rome.
She combines historical, codicological and literary interests with archaeological activities. Since 2002 she has been a member of the archaeological mission in Bakchias (Fayyum) and co-director of the same mission since 2008. She is also vice-director of the Italo-Egyptian Conservation Mission at the Coptic monastery of Abba Nefer (Manqabad, Asyut) and director of a new archaeological project at Hugair Gubli (Sudan, IV cataract). She is scientific collaborator of the Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterati (Rome, Hamburg)  and PI of the ERC Advanced project "Tracking Papyrus and Parchment Paths. An Arcaheological Atlas of Coptic Literature. Literary Texts in Their Geographical Context" (paths.uniroma1.ithttps://atlas.paths-erc.eu/).
Her publications range from Coptic literature to codicology and from archaeology to the history of Coptic and Egyptological studies.
She sits on the Board of the International Association of Coptic Studies (IACS) and is a member of both International Associations of Egyptologists, the Academia Europaea, and the Academia Ambrosiana.
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Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Cooney’s research in coffin reuse, primarily focusing on the 21st Dynasty, is ongoing. Her research investigates the socioeconomic and political turmoil that have plagued the period, ultimately affecting funerary and burial practices in ancient Egypt. This project has taken her around the world over the span of five to six years to study and document more than 300 coffins in collections around the world, including Cairo, London, Paris, Berlin, and Vatican City. Her first trade book, The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt is an illuminating biography of its least well-known female king and was published in 2014 by Crown Publishing Group. Her latest book, When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt, was published in 2018 by National Geographic Press.

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Salim Faraji is Professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He completed his M.Div. at the Claremont School of Theology and M.A. and Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University. He is a member of the International Society for Nubian Studies and specializes in early Christian history, Africana and Africanist historiography, Coptic Studies and the Sudanic, Napatan, Meroitic and Medieval periods of Nubian history. He has presented papers on Nubian Christianity at both the 11th International Conference for Meroitic Studies in Vienna, Austria and the 12th and 13th International Conferences for Nubian Studies at the British Museum and the Université de Neuchâtel respectively.  He is one of a handful of Nubiologists in the United States and the only Africana Studies scholar in the country who is also a Coptic Studies specialist.  Professor Faraji is a contributor to Romans, Barbarians, and the Transformation of the Roman World, the Encyclopedia of African Religion, the Oxford Dictionary of African Biography and the author of The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh.

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Christina Nagy Wadea Georges, received her PhD in 2016 in Greek and Roman Archeology from the Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University, Cairo. She was a research assistant in the Faculty of Arts from 2006-2011 and then an assistant lecturer there from 2011-2016. From 2016 till now she held the position of Lecturer at the Faculty. Her recent publications dealt with late Roman and Coptic Art from early 4th to 7th century. Currently, she began a research project dealing with the representation of the crafts and professions in Coptic art. Her academic interests include both  Coptic and Byzantine Art and Archaeology.

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Daniel Girgis is a tonsured chanter and reader in the Coptic Orthodox Church who has received his Master of Arts in Theology degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 2021. He has also received his PharmD degree from the SUNY University at Buffalo in 2019. His research focuses on preserving Coptic tradition through the combination and reconciliation of both the oral transmission of Coptic chant and the analysis of liturgical manuscripts; using these two factors to identify and restore authentic and proper ritual practice in the Coptic Rite.

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Mina Makar

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Lance Martin is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Catholic University of America in the Department of Semitics. His dissertation is on late antique Coptic and Syriac monastic literature. He has also served as the Digital Humanities Specialist for the Coptic Scriptorium project since 2017.

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So Miyagawa is a Coptologist working as an assistant professor of Digital Humanities at Kyoto University, Japan. He is a Japanese-born Copt belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church Diocese of Sydney and affiliated regions. He was an research fellow at SFB1136 "Bildung und Religion" and KELLIA projects and has studied Coptology at Georg August Universität Göttingen, Germany under the supervision of Prof. Heike Behlmer. His dissertation is on Psalm quotations in St. Shenouda's letters.

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Saad Michael Saad is the host of Coptic Civilization, a LogosTV program broadcast weekly in English and monthly in Arabic via satellite and at: www.logoschannel.com.  He received an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1987 after a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of London in 1974. His current volunteer activities at Claremont Graduate University include serving as Managing Editor of the Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia, Chair of the Coptic Studies Council, and Research Associate with the Institute for Signifying Scriptures. From 2001-2010, he was Senior Editor of Watani International. From 1985-1996, he was Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has published two book chapters and hundreds of articles on modern Coptic history, religious culture, and microwave engineering. Saad holds forty patents in the United States, Japan, Europe, and other countries. In 1997 he was named Fellow of IEEE. Fellow Member of the Society.

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Botros (Peter) Karam Sadek is a member of the editorial team of Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in 2020, where he studied Christian History with a concentration in Coptic studies. He joined CGU after being graduated with an M.A. and Th.M. from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Botros also holds an M.B.A. from the U.K. and a degree in engineering. Before changing his career to study Theology, he worked for more than twenty years in a multinational company, holding different technical and managerial positions.

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Caroline T. Schroeder is Professor of Classics and Letters, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, and Fellow at the Data Institute for Societal Challenges at the University of Oklahoma. Her most recent book Children and Family in Late Antique Egyptian Monasticism was published by Cambridge University Press this year, and she is co-Principal Investigator for the Coptic Scriptorium project. A Fellow Member of the Society.

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Mark Swanson is the Harold S. Vogelaar Professor of Christian–Muslim studies and interfaith relations at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago [LSTC].  Before coming to Chicago in 2006, he taught at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt.  His  research and publication focus on the Arabic literature of Middle Eastern Christian communities, the history of the Egyptian church, and the history of Christian–Muslim relations.  He wrote The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt (641-1517) (AUC Press, 2010); was Christian Arabic section editor for the first five volumes of the reference work Christian–Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, ed. David Thomas et al. (Brill, 2009-2013); and compiled bibliographies of Copto-Arabic studies for the International Association of Coptic Studies for the years 1996 to 2016. He is currently a member of the Yale University team working on the cataloging the Coptic and Arabic sections of the Library of Deir al-Surian. He is proud to be a member of the St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society.

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Hany N. Takla is the founding president of the St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from UCLA (1978) and a Master in Coptology from Macquarie University in Sydney Australia. He taught Coptic Language at UCLA as well as multiple Coptic Theological Colleges and Schools. He was the Secretary of the International Congress of Coptic Studies at Claremont Graduate University in 2016. Currently, he teaches Bohairic and Sahidic Coptic at the St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Coptic Theological School in Los Angeles. His main interest in general Coptic Studies.

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Maggie A. Tawadros received her BA in Art History and Psychology, UCLA in 2017, and her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago in 2019. Currently, a PhD Student of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. She volunteers as a Research Assistant at the St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies as well as being an Assistant Curator at the St. Shenouda Cultural Museum.

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Janet Timbie is an Adjunct Associate Professor. She completed a bachelor’s degree at Stanford University, then a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught in the Semitics Department of the Catholic University of America in DC since 2002; Coptic language and literature, as well as the history of the Christian Near East. and has also collaborated with the Center for the Study of Early Christianity. Her areas of interest include Coptic language and literature, the origins of monasticism, and the history of the Christian Near East. Her research focuses on 4th-5th c. Coptic monastic texts, with particular emphasis on the interpretation of scripture in those texts. Member of the Society.
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Tim Vivian is professor emeritus of Religious Studies at CSU Bakersfield and a retired Episcopal priest. He has published numerous books, articles, and book reviews on early Christian monasticism, including The Life of Antony (Cistercian Publications, 2003). His most recent publication is volume 1 (of 2) of The Sayings and Stories of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, a translation of, introduction to, and notes on the Greek Apophthegmata Patrum (Cistercian); The Life of Bishoi: The Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and Ge’ez (Ethiopic) Lives, edited with Maged S. A. Mikhail, will be published by The American University in Cairo Press in September.


Youhanna Nessim Youssef holds a PhD from Montpellier University in Coptology in 1993,  He is actually Senior Lecturer in Sankt Ignatios College and University College Stockholm and Associate Professor in St Athanasius Theological college- University of Divinity- Melbourne. He is member of many learned Associations and member of the editorial boards of refereed journals.

He is member of the International team for cataloguing the Manuscripts of the Monastery of the Virgin Mary known as al-Surian (Scetis) (headed by Professor Stephen Davis, (Yale University) in charge of the liturgical manuscripts. He published more than a dozen of books, more than 50 chapters and couple of hundreds of articles in refereed journal. His last book is Interpretations of the Theotokias by the Patriarch John Ibn Qiddis, Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 53, New Jersey: Gorgias Press 2020. He attended and presented papers in all the conferences of Saint Shenouda.

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Amir Zeldes is Associate Professor of Computational Linguistics specializing in work on and with corpora, including corpus linguistics studies, building corpora, and creating annotation interfaces and natural language processing tools that make corpus creation easier. He also runs the Georgetown University Corpus Linguistics lab and is co-Principal Investigator for the Coptic Scriptorium project.

Day 1

Prof. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney: Introductory Words

Hany N. Takla:  State of the Society

Maggie A. Tawadros: St. Shenouda Cultural Museum: Preservation, Education, and Historical Exploration

Mina Makar: The Making of the Coptic Bible phone App

Prof. Salim Faraji, Reflecting Ancient Egyptian Magic & Coptic Ritual Power: A Consideration of Funerary Prayer Inscriptions in Medieval Christian Nubia. (Not available)

Ms. Rachel Abdoler, From This Arise Four Doubts: Buṭrus al-Sadamantī's use of Abu al-Faraj ‘Abdallāh Ibn al-Ṭayyib in his Commentary on Christ's Prayer in Gethsemane. (Not available)

Prof. Tim Vivian, Rivalry in the Desert: Jerome’sLife of Paul of Thebes”. (Not available)

Mr. Lance Martin, Prof. Caroline T. Schroeder,  Prof. Amir Zeldes, Digitally Linking People and Places in Coptic Literature

Dr. Botros (Peter) Karam Sadek, The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia through the Eyes of Digital Humanities.

Assistant Prof. So Miyagawa, Prof. Heike Behlmer, Levenshtein Distance and Conceptual Blending in Psalm Quotations in Shenoute, Canon 6

Hany N. Takla, The Hamuli Collection (the Phantoou Library) Reassessed


Day 2

Prof. Paola Buzi, Brief considerations on the long-lasting life of the scriptorium of the White Monastery: the contribution of two witnesses from the Apostolic Vatican Library

Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef, Joseph in the Coptic liturgical texts

Prof. Janet Timbie, Teaching ‘Many Times’ (Shenoute, Canons, Book 8) in the Zoom Classroom: from parsing of verbs to translation to interpretation

Prof. Febe Armanios, The Church in Your Home: The Rise of Coptic Satellite Channels. (Not available)

Dr. Christina Nagy Wadea Georges, The Relationship between the Coptic Funeral Scenes and the Artist's Message. (Not available)

Prof. Monica Bontty, Untangling the Roots of a Coptic Lice Comb. 

Dr. Daniel Girgis, ⲡⲓⲣⲁⲛ ⲙⲫⲛⲟⲩϯ: The Name of God in the Coptic Liturgical Tradition

Dr. Michael Beshay, The Prayer of Mary "in Bartos": A New Trajectory of the Virgin's Veneration in Coptic Magic. (Not available)

Dr. Lisa Agaiby, Copto-Arabic Sayings Attributed to St. Antony The Great. (Not available)

Prof. Mark Swanson, Another Look at Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ and the Beginnings of Copto-Arabic Theology.  (Not available)

 

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