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Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199744848
ISBN-10: 019974484X
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"A fascinating and important contribution to Ottoman Egyptian history, Coptic history, and the history of minorities under Muslim rule."--Journal of the American Academy of Religion


"A rigorous yet richly imaginative analysis of Egypt's Coptic community in the early modern period.... Via deep analysis of a limited corpus of available documentary sources, Armanios has succeeded in shedding important new light on a significant but heretofore little understood era in Coptic history."--Church History


"This is a very valuable book: the first comprehensive assessment of the Coptic community and its diverse religious expressions in the Ottoman period . The book deserves to be widely read. It should be of interest to social, political, ecclesiological and intellectual historians, especially to those interested in minority cultures and issues of identity formation and maintenance. With its generally clear writing style and logical structure, the book should also be accessible to students and a wider readership, for example within the Coptic community." --Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean


"Febe Armanios has written an innovative, fascinating, and thoroughly researched work of relevance to anyone interested in the history of the Copts and of Christians in the Middle East. She explores an array of novel archival sources and shows how Ottoman-era Copts used different spaces-festivals, pilgrimages, church pulpits-to articulate their social, political, and spiritual concerns. This is the first study of its kind and it serves as a welcomed reminder that the Coptic historical perspective, long marginalized in the scholarship, adds a lot to our understanding of the early modern Middle East."
-- Gawdat Gabra, Visiting Professor of Coptic Studies, Claremont Graduate University


"Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt represents a refreshing new trend in scholarship on Christians and Jews in Muslim-majority societies. Rather than depicting non-Muslims as either passive beneficiaries of Muslim tolerance or victims of Muslim persecution, Armanios makes Christians the agents of history. Utilizing an impressive array of Coptic writings to narrate how Copts formed a Christian ethos, Armanios contributes to our understanding of early modern Egyptian religion."
-- Marc David Baer, author of Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe


"In this important study, Febe Armanios illuminates Coptic religious life in the Ottoman era by analyzing martyr cults, festivals, pilgrimage, and sermons. Tensions between lay leaders and clergy, and efforts to cultivate relations with Muslim rulers, foster Coptic identity and piety, and defend against Catholic proselytizing provide much-needed context for understanding Coptic history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."
-- Kenneth M. Cuno, Associate Professor of History, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Coptic christianity in Ottoman Egypt provides a rigorous yet richly imaginative analysis of Egypt's coptic community in the early modern period."--David Coleman, Eastern Kentucky University


"The author's remarkable study contributes to clarify the complexity of Muslim-Christian relations and of the internal dynamics of the Coptic community not only in the Ottoman period but also in contemporary Egypt."--The Catholic Historical Review


"Short, eloquent, and well-researched...This book is a wonderful contribution to multiple fields of scholarship and should be warmly welcomed."--American Historical Review


"A fascinating and important contribution to Ottoman Egyptian history, Coptic history, and the history of minorities under Muslim rule."--Journal of the American Academy of Religion


About the Author


Febe Armanios is Associate Professor of History at Middlebury College. In her most recent research, she investigates Coptic religious revivalism and charismatic renewal in the modern era.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019974484X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199744848
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,235,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Febe Armanios' insightful and much-needed volume fills a gap in existing scholarship. By examining the experiences of Coptic Christians in Ottoman Egypt (1517-1798), the author provides information about and analysis of the experiences and self-understandings of a minority religious group in an Muslim-dominated country, which of course has relevance in modern Egypt where Copts are confronted by many of the same socio-political-religious realities.

In just five chapters, Dr. Armanios manages to deftly and successfully introduce Coptic/Ottoman history, explore the shape and role of influential martyrologies (namely Dimyana and Salib), examine Jerusalem pilgrimage narratives, and contexualize sermons from missionary Catholics who came to Egypt with a proselytizing agenda for the Copts. In turn, the latter helped forge Coptic identity, and today serves as a counterpoint to more productive ecumenical relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church and other Christian communities, in Egypt and worldwide.

In addition to impeccable scholarship, the author deserves praise for relying on a diversity of primary sources, many of which have never been academically studied before, including manuscripts from the St. Macarius Monastery Library, the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Dayr Al-Suryan Library, Franciscan Center of Christian Oriental Studies, St. Mina Monastery Library, the Patriarchal Library in Cairo, and the Library of St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies in Los Angeles. This volume should be included in any serious library of both Coptic, Islamic, Ottoman, and Middle Eastern Studies.

S. Michael Saad; Managing Editor, Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (...)
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Format: Hardcover
*****
A rigorous yet richly imaginative analysis of Egypt's Coptic community in the early modern period.... Via deep analysis of a limited corpus of available documentary sources, Armanios has succeeded in shedding important new light on a significant but heretofore little understood era in Coptic history."--Church History
*

Throughout "Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt," Dr Febe Armanios explores Coptic religious life in Egypt during Ottoman rule (Ca. 1500-1800), illuminating Coptic religious traditions by examining martyr cults, pilgrimage, festivals, and sermons, in the Turkish Khalifate era . Her refreshing scholarship has produced the first English book on the subject, describing the long marginalized Copts' life, in early modern Egypt, under the rule of the Sultan in Constantinople. This fine study of Coptic culture, religious life, and rituals, slowly accumulated since the Islamic conquest of Byzantine Egypt.

Ottoman ruled Copts had frequently turned to religious dialogues, writings, and rituals, to face various changes they dealt with in the first decades of Ottoman rule, on top of their heritage accumulated under the wicked Mameluke's tyranny. A new Coptic social regime was established, that favored lay leaders over clergy. These changes within Coptic leadership were enhanced by the economic ascent of their lay literate elites and was influenced particularly by the Melekites, but also by daily contacts with the Jewish community and even Moslem population.

Professor Armanios, apparently with Coptic roots, eloquently highlights how the minority Copts, living in Egypt under a dominant Islamic culture, kept their identity and distinguished themselves from other foreign invaders by turning to an impressive grouping of new religious traditions.
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Format: Hardcover
This unique publication sheds a much needed light on a crucial part of the history of the Egyptians through the dark years of the Ottomans. It intellectually and eloquently analyzes the continuous struggle of the Egyptians to maintain their Christian identity and their endeavor to preserve their religious values. It sets an excellent example for the continuous struggle of people and nations to adapt and persevere under extreme hardships.
Dr. Armanios' expertise and knowledge of the Ottoman era are clearly manifested throughout, that in addition to her deep insight of this period and the utilization of primary sources from a vast array of places, some of them are almost impossible to reach or even to get into, make this publication a must read.
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