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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)

Click here for online registration. Registration fee is free, but limited to 100 attendees. 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 am - 5:00 pm (Tentative)


Saturday, July 17, 2021 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Tentative)



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.

Tentative list

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

+ Prof. Febe Armanios, Middlebury  College, VT

+ Dr. Michael Beshay, Ohio State University, OH

+ Prof. Monica Bontty, University of Louisiana, LA

+ Prof. David Brakke, Ohio State University, OH (Tentative)

+ Prof. Paola Buzi, University of Rome, Italy

+ Prof. Kara Cooney, UCLA, CA

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

+ Prof. Lillian Larson, Redlands University, CA

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

+ Dr. Ramez (Dcn Arsenius) Mikhail,  Universität Regensburg, Germany/ ACTS, CA

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

+ Professor Carrie Schroeder, University of Oklahoma, OK

+ Mother Dr. Antonia St. Demiana, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (Tentative)

+ 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: Dr. Lisa Agaiby

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


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



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.


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.


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

Title: Digitally Linking People and Places in Coptic Literature



Presenter: Hany N. Takla

Title: The Hamuli Collection (the Phantoou Library) Reassessed

Abstract: Forthcoming


Presenter: Prof. Tim Vivian

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


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.


Presenter: Dr. Youhanna Nessim Youssef

Title: Joseph in the Coptic liturgical texts


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.


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.

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.

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