"The history by an assistant professor of religious studies at Yale follows the Coptic Church from its origins to the coming of Islam about the seventh century mostly through the men heading it. Volumes Two and Three of this series by other authors deal with different stages of this Egyptian Christian Church. This first clearly definable period of this volume laid the grounds for the survival of the Coptic Church down to today even though with the coming of Islam, it was marginalized and its members often discriminated against. In many ways, the study of the Coptic papacy resembles the study of the Catholic papacy and the first years of the Catholic Church. There were similar decisions important in establishing the Coptic Church; the personalities of the early Coptic popes were especially important in creating the internal nature and public image of the Church; and there were theological controversies over basic doctrines and beliefs. "Apostolicity, martyrdom, monastic patronage, and theological resistance" are the four major themes during this formative period for the Coptic Church. "The Early Coptic Papacy" along with the companion volumes substantiates the Coptic Church as a subject in religious studies with its own history worthy of study." -- Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Stephen J. Davis
is assistant professor of religious studies at Yale University.