23rd St. Shenouda-UCLA Conference of Coptic Studies, July 22-23, 2022
Registration Fee (Suggested Contributions):
- Members: $20
- Non-Member : $25
- Students: Free
- UCLA Students/Faculty: Free
Click here for online registration. Registration fees to paid at the door. If you would like to make a contribution to the cost of the conference, click here. UNDER CURRENT HEALTH REGULATIONS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, APPROPRIATE PROTECTIVE MASKS ARE REQUIRED IN THE VENUE
Friday, July 22, 2022
10:00-10:05 a.m. Opening Remarks by Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney (NELC-UCLA)
10:10-10:30 a.m. Prof. Youhanna N. Youssef, Invoice of Scribe
10:30-11:00 Dr. S. Michael Saad, The State of the Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia
11:00-11:15 a.m. Break
11:15-11:45 a.m. Ms. Rowaida M. Mamouni, Remarks on Unattested Greek Loan Verbs in the Four Coptic Gospels
11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Ms. Nicole Deschene, Coptic Language Education in the Diaspora
12:15-1:00 pm Lunch Recess
1:00 - 1:30 p.m. Mr. Mina Makar, Coptic Services App: Academia Made Functional
1:30 - 2:00 p.m. Prof. Carrie Schroeder, New Features in the Coptic Scriptorium Project
2:00 - 2:30 p.m. Fr. Cherubim Saed, Bishop Samuel’s (1962-1981) influences for revival of contemporary Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt
2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 - 3:15 p.m. Ms. Mary Ghattas, Between Alexandria & Antioch: Historiography & Memory in Theological Conflicts
3:15 - 3:45 p.m. Prof. Gawdat Gabra, Fawzy Estafanous and his Legacy
3:45 - 4:15 p.m. Mr. Hany N. Takla, The Coptic Pascha Book according to the Reform of Patr. Gabriel Ibn Turaik
4:15 - 4:45 p.m. M. Maggie A. Tawadros, The Guardian, the Messenger, and the Healer: The Angel as a Suppoting Character within Monastic Wall Programs
Saturday, July 23, 2022
8:30-9:30 a.m. Registration
9:30-10:00 a.m. Dr. Daniel Girgis, Reviving the Coptic Psalmody: A Structural, Hymnological, and Theological Analysis through a Renewed Translation
10:00-10:30 a.m. Mr. Mina H. Samy, The Hymn of the Intercessions (ϩⲓⲧⲉⲛ) in the Coptic Liturgical Rite: History and Practice
10:30-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45-11:15 a.m. Fr. Arsanius Mikhail, The Scriptural Readings and their Euchological Prayers in the Coptic Liturgy of the Word: An Essay in Liturgical Change
11:15 a.m.-12 noon Prof. Stephen J. Davis, Cultural Heritage Preservation at the White Monastery in Egypt: What Happens When a Wall Falls Down
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00-1:30 p.m. Prof. Janet Timbie. A Coptologist at Work: Digitization of Early Catalogues, Photographs, and Notebooks for the Coptic Manuscripts in the Morgan Collection.
1:30-2:00 p.m. Prof Lillian Larsen/ Mr. Joseph Fahim, Biblically Linking Communal Liturgy with the Monastic Classroom
2:00-2:30 p.m. Prof. Darlene Brook Hedstrom, Monks and Perishable Things: Archaeology, Possessions and Early Monasticism
2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45-3:15 p.m. Prof. Tim Vivian, A Journey to the Interior: “The Life of Paul of Thebes”, A Myth of Journeying?
3:15-3:45 p.m. Dr. Lisa Agaiby, Scribal Activity as observed in the Manuscripts at St Paul’s Monastery
3:45- 4:30 p.m. Prof. Mark Swanson, When was the Copto-Arabic Synaxarion (Kitāb al-Sinaksār) Composed? Another Look
4:30-4:45 p.m. Break and Pictures
4:45-5:15 p.m. Members Business Meeting
The Conference will be located on the Campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Royce Hall, Room 314.
Dr. Lisa Agaiby
Prof. Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom
Prof. Kathlyn M. Cooney
Prof. Stephen Davis
Ms. D. Nicole Deschene
Dr. Gawdat Gabra
Mr. Daniel Girgis
Ms. Mary Ghattas
Prof. Lillian Larsen
Ms Rowaida M. Mamouni
Prof. Fr. Arsenius Mikhail
Prof. Maged (Severus) Mikhail
Dr. Saad Michael Saad
Mr. Mina H. Samy
Prof. Caroline Schroeder
Prof. Mark Swanson
Mr. Hany N. Takla
Ms. Maggie A. Tawadros
Prof. Janet Timbie
Prof. Tim Vivian
Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef
Title: Scribal Activity as observed in the Manuscripts at St Paul’s Monastery
Presenter: Dr. Lisa Agaiby (St Athanasius College, University of Divinity in Melbourne Australia)
This paper will present some initial observations made during the documentation of the manuscripts at the Monastery of St Paul the Hermit at the Red Sea. This project is still work-in-progress. The aim of the presentation is to view manuscripts as artefacts from which we can extract vital clues about the people who produced them and the motives behind their production.
Title: Monks and Perishable Things: Archaeology, Possessions and Early Monasticism
Presenter: Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom (Brandeis University, )
Monks were makers and artisans—some were better than others. They participated in trade and helped their communities be self-sufficient. Excavations at monastic settlements throughout Egypt include evidence of monastic makers with their baskets, mats, textiles, shoes, and books. To focus on monastic things is to encounter the persistent belief that monks renounced all things and did not form attachments or entanglements. Since monks worked as makers, it is important to reconsider how mundane things of ordinary life impacted their goals for indifference to things. This essay seeks to adjust the narrative of thingless monasticism by taking a closer look at materials that were both delightful and dangerous. To uncover the biographies of the mundane, I employ theories from materiality and craft studies to create a holistic framework for including the perishable elements of monastic life. I will demonstrate the value of reconstructing biographies of monks and their perishable things through the use of legacy collections and current archaeological work at monastic sites.
Title: Cultural Heritage Preservation at the White Monastery in Egypt: What Happens When a Wall Falls Down
Presenter: Prof. Stephen J. Davis (Yale University, Conn)
On January 6, 2022, part of the north wall of the fifth-century Church of St. Shenoute at the White Monastery collapsed. In the aftermath, in online forums, members of the Coptic Orthodox community across the globe understandably expressed their deep concerns and, in some cases, anger, at the situation. This presentation focuses on the history of cultural heritage preservation at the church since the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project (YMAP) took archaeological responsibility for the site in 2008, and the project’s response to this recent architectural crisis. By bringing key stakeholders together, YMAP hopes to safeguard the future of the church as a major site of Coptic cultural heritage.
Title: Coptic Language Education in the Diaspora
Presenter: Ms. D. Nicole Deschene (New York University, NY)
In the last several decades, the Coptic community has expanded globally through emigration, creating an ever-growing and -changing diaspora with each subsequent generation. The Coptic community’s current use of the Coptic language is comparably unique to the language practices of other groups. Access to Coptic language education is necessary to meet their unique needs, however scholarly discussions regarding Coptic language education have been limited. This presentation will provide a synthesis of relevant literature, including theories, concepts, and frameworks, from the fields of Education and Applied Linguistics that can inform the teaching and learning of Coptic. It will also cover the current state of Coptic language education and raise questions for future interdisciplinary research.
Title: Fawzy Estafanous and his Legacy
Presenter: Dr. Gawdat Gabra (St. Mark Foundation, Cairo, Egypt)
Fawzy Estafanous is known for having built one of the foremost cardiac anesthesiology departments in the USA. In this paper I will briefly introduce his achievements as a physician and focus on his service in the Coptic Church. His most important legacy was the establishment of the St. Mark Foundation for Coptic History Studies that greatly promoted knowledge about the Coptic history and heritage.
Title: Reviving the Coptic Psalmody: A Structural, Hymnological, and Theological Analysis through a Renewed Translation
Presenter: Mr. Daniel Girgis (St.Vladimir Seminary, NY)
The Holy Psalmody is foundational in the liturgical cycle of the Coptic Church; not only is it a rich source of theological edification, but it is arguably the most frequently utilized text by Coptic laity. Undergoing multiple structural alterations over the centuries, as well as relocation in several countries throughout the diaspora, the Coptic Psalmody has remained a mainstay in liturgical worship—though a much more ambiguous and misunderstood one. Through a critical analysis of its earliest extant manuscripts in the Bohairic tradition, and a new translation which takes the musical aspect of liturgical worship into account, the Coptic Psalmody can be seen for what it truly is: an exegetical framework and systematic doctrinal arrangement akin to the mind of the Alexandrian Church. This presentation describes the process of analysis and translation of the Coptic Psalmody, sharing particular observations about its exegetical and structural framework.
Title: Between Alexandria & Antioch: Historiography & Memory in Theological Conflicts
Presenter: Ms. Mary Ghattas (Claremont Graduate University, CA)
The historical memory of the Antiochene and Alexandrian schools of biblical interpretation and by extension, Christological thought, is marked by their theological debates, often (and perhaps conveniently) forgetting the extent of their agreement. Figures who misinterpreted both schools of thought practically invited Constantinople’s imperio-ecclesiastical diplomacy, resulting in the devasting schism of the fifth century. Of all the debates between the two Eastern patriarchates, the First Origenist Crisis of the fourth century resulted in the exile of the Patriarch of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, the disciple of Diodore of Tarsus at the behest of Theophilus, Cyril of Alexandria’s predecessor. Ecclesial historian and lawyer Sozomen (c. 400-450 C.E.) immortalizes the conflict in his Ecclesiastical History, penned 440-443 C.E. This study examines editions of the Coptic synaxarium to discover how this controversy was remembered in the Alexandrian tradition, in hopes of recovering agreement between the Alexandrian and Antiochene schools while probing the extent of manipulated memory through historiography.
Title: Biblically Linking Communal Liturgy with the Monastic Classroom
Presenter: Prof. Lillian Larsen (University of Redlands, CA), Joseph Fahim (St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, CA)
This presentation examines the monastic pedagogical trajectory, which links late ancient classroom strategies with contemporary liturgy. After documenting foundational patterns, broadly applied in identifying ancient/late-ancient classroom settings, we trace the pedagogical strategies used in transforming lines from scripture into monastic sentences and ‘sayings’. Arguing against those who point to the ‘simple’ character of collected compendia as indicative of monastic resistance to literate pursuits, we demonstrate that the simplicity of included forms, in fact, offers rich avenues for exploring both monastic and liturgical re-use. Rather than preserving the “simple wisdom” of a-literate desert monks, extant collections register the footprint of Coptic Christian pedagogy. In this, the character of collected content serves not only to increase our understanding of early monastic school practice, it likewise elucidates audibly legible threads, tethering late-ancient classroom forms with contemporary communal prayer and liturgy.
Title: Coptic Services App: Academia Made Functional
Presenter: Mr. Mina Makar (Stockton College, NJ/Didymus Institute, Cairo)
In this digital age, there has been a shift from using printed books to mobile applications for church services. Yet, current apps have only been able to go so far, allowing users a very limited user experience and lots of bias. The Coptic Services App strives to be an app which can be used for either research/academic purposes or for daily church/home use. Developed with new innovative features and academic principles as a guide, the user experience will be enhanced several-fold. This presentation will discuss some of the features of the up-and-coming app and their significance.
Title: Remarks on Unattested Greek Loan Verbs in the Four Coptic Gospels
Presenter: Ms. Rowaida M. Mamouni (Alexandria University, Egypt)
The Old Testament was translated into Greek language through the Septuagint version, which began during the reign of the Ptolemy II in the third century BC. After that, it was retranslated into the Coptic language according to the Greek version. In contrast, the New Testament was directly translated into Coptic from the original Greek version, which is known nowadays as the Alexandrian version. Till now, no one knows the exact date of the first New Testament rendering into the Coptic language.
This research aims to discuss the Greek Loan Verbs in the Four Gospel “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John” by comparing the Bohairic and the Sahidic versions with the Greek version which are not mentioned in the Greek one.
The Egyptians, particularly the translators, were bilingual in Coptic and Greek. So that, they had incorporated Greek loan verbs in their mother Egyptian language, with preservation of the morphological forms and rules of the verbs.
From this study, we can conclude that the Sahidic translator respected in most of the times, the original Greek Verbs and preferred to use the words and the meanings of the Greek language, while in Bohairic the verbs often substituted them with their corresponding Coptic terms.
Title: The Scriptural Readings and their Euchological Prayers in the Coptic Liturgy of the Word: An Essay in Liturgical Change
Presenter: Prof. Fr. Arsenius Mikhail (ACTS, CA)
The priestly prayers of the Euchologion are a sort of liturgical commentary in situ. Not in the sense of the literary discourses penned by many bishops and theologians throughout history, but in the form of direct scripturally pregnant prayers, offered publicly at key junctures and serving to guide the participants’ relationship to the rite and its meaning. In this contribution, three prayers of this kind are taken up, corresponding respectively—though not always accurately—to the three scriptural readings of the Coptic Liturgy of the Word from the Pauline writings, the Catholic letters, and the Acts of the Apostles, respectively. In this context, I analyze the relationship between these prayers and their respective scriptural readings diachronically through an examination of key medieval sources of Coptic liturgical practice.
Title: The State of the Claremont Coptic Encylopedia
Presenter: Dr. Saad Michael Saad (CGU, CA)
The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (CCE) knowledge base functions as a primary digital humanities tool for the world to learn more about the Copts: their church, their two millennia of human experience, their achievements and challenges, and their civilization. It is digitally housed at the Claremont Colleges Digital Library (CCDL) and the landing page is:
https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/cce . This paper summarizes the CCE’s current state, activities, and plans, as well as its important, transdisciplinary mission. Usage statistics for the web-based CCE show the pulse of Coptic Studies, revealing which areas are of past, current, and ongoing interest.
Title: The Hymn of the Intercessions (ϩⲓⲧⲉⲛ) in the Coptic Liturgical Rite: History and Practice
Presenter: Mr. Mina H. Samy (St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College/ St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College., Sydney, AU)
The history of the “hymn of the intercessions” will be discussed, along with the original intention behind this hymn, and why it came to occupy this particular place in the Divine Liturgy. This will be followed by presenting the stages of its evolution up to the established current practices. The paper concludes by considering the hymn in the light of recent discussions about liturgical renewal in the Coptic Church. Specifically, how the original purpose of the hymn may be recovered through the flexibility that the Coptic rite can accommodate in terms of its rubrics.
Title: Bishop Samuel’s (1962-1981) influences for revival of contemporary Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt
Presenter: Fr. Cherubim Saed (Vrije University, Amsterdam)
In this paper I will focus on the Life of Bishop Samuel (1962-1981) and his work as a Bishop when he founded the Bishopric of Ecumenical and Social Affairs, Since the initiatives of Bishop Samuel became foundational to the life of the contemporary Coptic Church, in his capacity as bishop, he also chaired the Council of African Churches and started founding Coptic churches in various African countries. As Coptic representative to the World Council of Churches, he also made frequent visits to Europe and North America where he established various Coptic communities that grew into dioceses. My guiding question is how did Bishop Samuel’s work, vision, and influence the revival of the contemporary Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt?
Title: New Features in the Coptic Scriptorium Project
Presenter: Prof. Caroline T. Schroeder (University of Oklahoma, OK)
Title: When was the Copto-Arabic Synaxarion (Kitāb al-Sinaksār) Composed? Another Look
Presenter: Prof. Mark Swanson (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. IL)
The Sinaksār of the Coptic Orthodox Church is a living text with a complex history; it resists simple attempts to assign authorship and a date. The present author attempted to summarize the state of the question ten years ago in an entry (“The Copto-Arabic Synaxarion”) in Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, Volume 4 (1200-1350), ed. David Thomas et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 937-945. While the Sinaksār may still be “dramatically understudied material” (Perrine Pilette in 2019), the author hopes to present evidence that suggests not only the existence, but also the regular use, of the Sinaksār in the mid-13th century.
Title: The Coptic Pascha Book according to the Reform of Patr. Gabriel Ibn Turaik
Presenter: Mr. Hany N. Takla (St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society/ACTS, CA/Univ of Notre Dame)
According to the tradition of the Coptic Church, the current lectionary in use during the Holy Week (Pascha) was attributed to Patriarch Gabriel Ibn Turaik in the 12th century. This lectionary is distinguished by being the only Lectionary in the Coptic Church that include both Coptic and Arabic in parallel rather than being in separate volumes as observed in all other manuscripts. This paper will discuss the historical evidence of this version, its earliest manuscripts found (Arabic, Bohairic, and Sahidic), and how it differs from what is currently practiced in the Coptic Church at present.
Title: The Guardian, the Messenger, and the Healer: The Angel as a Suppoting Character within Monastic Wall Programs
Presenter: Ms. Maggie A. Tawadros (CGU/St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, CA)
The following study examines the diverse roles which angels and archangels conduct in biblical scenes illustrated on the walls of the Cave Church of St. Paul the Hermit, and the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea. The paper discusses how the expression and presentation of each angel is an extension and visual illustration of his function within the space he occupies and with relation to the other, more important characters he is flanking. Depending on the assignment given to the angel within the story, his features, clothes, and the general stylistic choices (i.e., colors) placed upon him change. However, these characteristics always operate around the protagonists of the icon in such a way that allow the viewer to interact first with the main figure, then the angel. This discussion also explores the different visual languages utilized across both monasteries and how each of these tools—while contrasting—reach a similar goal which revolves around the relationship between the occupants of the room, the main characters of the scene, and the celestial beings supporting the hierarchy of the stories depicted.
Title: A Coptologist at Work: Digitization of Early Catalogues, Photographs, and Notebooks for the Coptic Manuscripts in the Morgan Collection.
Presenter: Prof. Janet Timbie (Catholic University of America, DC)
In the introduction to the Catalogue of Coptic Manuscripts in the Pierpont Morgan Library, Leo Depuydt described the role of Henry Hyvernat (1858-1941) in preserving and cataloguing this collection: first working with Émile Chassinat, then alone, and later with his student, Theodore Petersen. The staff at the Institute for Christian Oriental Research (ICOR) at Catholic University of America has digitized two versions of manuscript photos and some early catalogues produced by Hyvernat (and others). Hyvernat’s correspondence with the Vatican on preservation of the manuscripts, as well as the correspondence between Crum and Hyvernat dealing these manuscripts, is available to researchers in ICOR, not yet digitized. Many avenues of research have now been opened. Scholars will have access to evidence for manuscript binding techniques through the different sets of photographs. The practices of antiquities dealers in the early 20th century are illustrated in the various catalogues. These topics and others will be explored by following selected manuscript pages from identification through catalogues to image in the facsimile edition that appeared in 1922 in an edition of twelve sets distributed in Egypt, Europe, and America.
Title: A Journey to the Interior: “The Life of Paul of Thebes”, A Myth of Journeying?
Presenter: Prof. Tim Vivian (California State University Bakersfield, CA)
I will explore here the spiritual journeys of Antony of Egypt as depicted by Athanasius in the Life of Antony and of Paul of Thebes in the Life of Paul of Thebes. The two Lives, despite their vast differences about Antony and Paul, share a mythology of hero and journeying. In antiquity Odysseus searches and, thus, journeys, as do Aeneas and Gilgamesh; in later literature we have Dante, Don Quixote, Chaucer, and Huck Finn.
First, we need to discard our everyday definitions of “myth” as something false or unproved. As the authors of Introduction to Mythology emphasize, in indigenous, classical, and religious mythology “myth” does not mean “false story,” “something false.” To the contrary, a mythos give us “a sense of elusiveness inviting a search, a mysterious suggestion of an impending event.” This brief definition fits the Life of Paul exactly. “Myth,” the Introduction to Mythology continues, “allows you to take a journey into an exciting and mysterious world.” “In the first place,” it adds, “myths are stories . . . the stories of mythology are often ‘charged with a special seriousness and importance.’”
Title: Invoice of Scribe
Presenter: Dr. Youhanna M. Youssef (Catholic University/SAOTC, Melbourn Australia)
This paper deals with an invoice of a scribe from the eighteenth century which is included in the Dayr al-Surian, Ms.Liturgy 399. It will give an overview about profession of the scribe, and a description of the manuscript. It will also discuss the vocabulary used to express the total price and the price of each item. It will further give some observations of this important document.
Dr. Lisa Agaiby: is a lecturer in Coptic Studies and Academic Dean at St Athanasius College, University of Divinity in Melbourne Australia. Her latest publication is, with Tim Vivian, Door of the Wilderness: The Greek, Coptic, and Copto-Arabic Sayings of St Antony of Egypt (Brill, 2021). Lisa is currently heading a project to digitise and catalogue the manuscript collection at the Monastery of St Paul at the Red Sea, Egypt. She is honoured to be a fellow member of the St Shenouda Society.
Prof. Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom: is the Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Brandeis University in the departments of Classical Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. She is currently Chair of Classical Studies. Brooks Hedstrom's most recent book, The Monastic Landscape of Late Antique Egypt: An Archaeological Reconstruction, is the winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society's Best Popular Book in Archaeology for 2019. She is currently working on an excavation monograph for a monastic residence at the Monastery of John the Little in Wadi Natrun, Egypt, for the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project. Brooks Hedstrom was a fellow in Byzantine Studies at Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks and is working on a monograph entitled "Feeding Asceticism in Byzantine Monasteries: The Archaeology of Monastic Cooking.”
Dr. Kathlyn (Kara Cooney): is an Associate professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture and Chair of Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. She specializes in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world. She received her Ph.D in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She produced a comparative archaeology television series, entitled Out of Egypt, which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online via Netflix and Amazon. The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt, Cooney’s first trade book, was released in 2014 and benefits from her expert perspective on Egypt’s ancient history to craft an illuminating biography of its least well-known female king. As an archaeologist who spent years at various excavations in Egypt, Cooney draws from the latest field research to fill in the gaps in the historical record of Hatshepsut. Cooney’s current research in coffin reuse, primarily focusing on the 19th and 21st Dynasties, 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 nearly 300 coffins in collections, including those in Cairo, London, Paris, Berlin, and Vatican City.
Prof. Stephen J. Davis: is the Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, a Professor of History, and the Head of Pierson College at Yale University. Since 2006, he served as the founding director of the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project (YMAP), overseeing archaeological work at four different Egyptian monastic sites, including the White Monastery and its affiliated women’s community. In 2013, he also initiated a Project to Catalogue the Coptic and Arabic Manuscripts at Dayr al-Suryān in Wādī al-Naṭrūn. He is author or co-author of ten books, including The Early Coptic Papacy (AUC Press 2004), Coptic Christology in Practice (Oxford UP 2008), and Monasticism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP 2018). In addition, he has published four monograph-length text editions/translations and numerous edited volumes related to the history of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
Ms. D. Nicole Deschene: is a PhD candidate in Bilingual Education at New York University. She received her MEd in Curriculum and Learning from William Paterson University and was the recipient of the Graduate Award for Excellence in Bilingual/ESL Studies. She has been an educator for twelve years and has taught at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Her research focuses on language learners and language policy.
Mr. Joseph Fahim was born in Alexandria, Egypt. Migrated to the USA @ 15. He graduated from California State Long Beach University with a BSc in Electrical an Biomedical Engineering in 1995. Learned Coptic @ the St. Shenouda Coptic for Coptic Studies in 1993. He served as a director of the Society’s San Fernando Valley Regional Center, 2019-2021. Moved to Phoenix, AZ in May, 2021, where he is in the process of starting a new Regional Center for the Society there. Currently, studying Coptic Studies classes @ ACTS. He is a member of the St. Shenouda Society Board.
Prof. Gawdat Gabra: is the former director of the Coptic Museum, Cairo, a member of the board of the Society of Coptic Archaeology, and chief editor of the St. Mark Foundation for Coptic History Studies. He is the author, coauthor and editor of numerous books related to the literary and material culture of Egyptian Christianity including The Treasures of Coptic Art in the Coptic Museum and Churches of Old Cairo (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007), The Churches of Egypt (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007) and Coptic Civilization (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2014), and the Christianity and Monasticism Series (2004-2019). He taught at American and Egyptian universities including the American University in Cairo and Claremont Graduate University, California. Member of the Society.
Mr. Daniel Girgis: is an ordained Sub Deacon under the name of Augustine. He 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.
Ms. Mary Ghattas: is a PhD Candidate at Claremont Graduate University, working on a dissertation about the Oriental Communion in Modern Egypt. She currently teaches Church History II: The Oriental Communion from 641 CE- Present at Agora University.
Prof. Lillian Larsen: serves as Professor of New Testament/Christian Origins at the University of Redlands, in Southern California. Newly awarded the Crawford Chair of Bible and Ethics (the University’s oldest endowed chair), her research examines the pedagogical threads that link monastic sayings, stories, and material records, with biblical and classical antecedents. Building on groundbreaking doctoral work at Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary in New York City – and longstanding research investments at Lund University, in Sweden – her published articles, a co-edited volume, (Monastic Education in Late Antiquity [CUP 2018]), and her current book project (‘On Learning a New Alphabet’), have effectively re-written the ‘missing chapter’ that is the history of monastic – and (Coptic) Christian – education in Egypt.
Mr. Mina Makar: is a Sub deacon in the Coptic Orthodox Church, currently studying at St. Didymus Institute for Cantors, in Cairo, Egypt. He holds a BS from Stockton College in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and has been developing mobile apps for over five years, with a primary focus on Coptic based applications. To date, he has developed four Coptic applications available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, including the Coptic Bible and the Coptic Agbeya Apps.
Ms. Rowaida M. Mamoun: is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Coptic Study, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University, Egypt.
Prof. Fr. Arsenius Mikhail: has completed his PhD in Liturgical Studies at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Vienna (Austria). He was Humboldt Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria, where he studied the history of the Coptic Liturgy of the Word before taking the position of Professor of Liturgical Studies at St. Athanasius & St. Cyril Theological School. His research focuses on medieval Bohairic liturgical history and has published two books and numerous articles within this field.
Dr. S. Michael Saad: is the Managing Editor of the Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia and host of Coptic Civilization, a LogosTV program in English and in Arabic via satellite, YouTube, FaceBook, and at logoschannel.com. He has published three book chapters and about 200 writings on modern Coptic history, culture, diaspora, and microwave engineering. He is a Fellow of IEEE and holds eight patents in the United States. These publications are gradually posted at: https://chicago.academia.edu/MichaelSaad. He serves as Chair of the Coptic Studies Council at Claremont Graduate University and Trustee at St Athanasius & St Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School (ACTS) in Los Angeles (actslibrary.org). He is a Founding Board Member of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures. He was a Senior Editor of Watani International(2001-2014) and Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1985-1996). Saad 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.
Fr. Cherubim Saed: is a PhD candidate at the Vrije university,Amsterdam, got my master’s degree from Wake Forest university, USA 2018 . Ordained as a priest serving at Anafora Retreat Center, Egypt. He is Serving now at Archangel Michael & St. Philopateer Coptic Church in North Carolina, USA
Mr. Mina H. Sami: is an MThSt student at St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College and St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College. He holds degrees in Engineering and Theology. Mina is also an anordained Reader in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Prof. Carolyn Schroeder: is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma, where she is also a member of the College of Arts and Sciences’ interdisciplinary Data Scholarship Program, Affiliate faculty in History and Religious Studies, and a Fellow at the Data Institute for Societal Challenges. Previously she was Professor of Religious Studies at the University of the Pacific (2007-2019) and served as Director of the Humanities Center there from 2012-2014. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2002 under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth A. Clark. She is an author and/or coeditor of multiple monographs and publications in Coptology and digital humanities. She is also co-founded and is a Principal Investigator of the interdisciplinary online research platform Coptic Scriptorium (copticscriptorium.org), which produces digital editions, natural language processing tools, and other digital resources for the study of Coptic literature and the Coptic language A Fellow Member of the Society.
Prof. Mark N. 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.
Hany N. Takla: President of St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society and Director of the Coptic Center in Los Angeles. Obtained his MA in Coptic Studies from Macquarie University, Sydney Australia. Part-time Lecturer at the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department. He currently serve as the Secretary of the 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies at Claremont Graduate University in 2016. Fellow Member of the Society.
Ms. Maggie A. Tawadros:received her BA in Art History and Psychology from UCLA in 2017, and her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago in 2019. Currently, she is 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.
Prof. Janet Timbie: is an adjunct associate professor, received the AB degree from Stanford University and the PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures at the Catholic University of America since 2002 and has collaborated with the Center for the Study of Early Christianity. Her areas of interest include Coptic language and literature, the origins and development of monasticism, Manichaeism in Egypt, and the history of the Christian Near East. Her research focuses on 4th-5th century Coptic monastic texts with particular emphasis on the interpretation of scripture.
Prof. Tim Vivian: is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies (retired) at CSU Bakersfield and a retired priest in the Episcopal Church. His field of research is early Christian monasticism, especially in Egypt. His most recent publications have been The Sayings and Stories of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, vol. 1 (2021); with Lisa Agaiby, Door of the Wilderness: The Greek, Coptic, and Copto-Arabic Sayings of St. Antony of Egypt (2022); and “The Origins of Monasticism” in the T&T Clark Handbook of the Early Church (2022).
Prof. Youhanna N. Youssef: received his Ph.D. in Coptic Hagiography from the Universite Paul Valery in Monpellier, France. While in Egypt he lectured at the Cairo Institute of Coptic Studies, and was a former editor of the Bulletin of Societe d'Archeologie Copte. Currently he is a Senior Research Associate at the Australian Catholic University, Centre for Early Christian Study, MacAuley Campus as well as a Senior honorary fellow of the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is also a lecturer at the St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College, Australia. He is the author of numerous articles in Arabic, French, and English about Coptic History, Liturgy, and Hagiography. He was a participant in the six International Symposia, jointly Sponsored by St. Mark Foundation and our Society (2002-2019) at various monasteries throughout Egypt. He has coauthored a History of Coptic Literature (In Arabic) and edited two volumes on the Arabic Life of Severus of Antioch. Most recently he coedited a volume with Samuel Moawad, From Old Cairo to the New World-Coptic Studies Presented to Gawdat Gabra on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday as well as a volume with Fr. Ugo Zanetti, La consécration du Myron par Gabriel IV,86e patriarche d’Alexandrie, en 1374 A.D. He also published an Arabic monograph titled, An Introduction about the Holy Psalmody.