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The Early Coptic Papacy: The Egyptian Church and Its Leadership in Late Antiquity (Popes of Egypt) Hardcover – March 1, 2005


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The Early Coptic Papacy: The Egyptian Church and Its Leadership in Late Antiquity (Popes of Egypt) + The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt: The Popes of Egypt: A History of the Coptic Church and Its Patriarchs Volume 2 + The Emergence of the Modern Coptic Papacy: The Popes of Egypt: A History of the Coptic Church and Its Patriarchs, Volume 3
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Product Details

  • Series: Popes of Egypt
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9774248309
  • ISBN-13: 978-9774248306
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth A. Dailey on January 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Davis's book fills in a much needed study of early Egyptian Christian leadership and theological disputes. What he does an excellent job in is not only informating the reader about the various popes and patriarchs, but he is also able to explain the theological disputes, such as the arguments regarding the nature of Christ, in terms that anyone can understand. I found the book interesting and easy to read, as well as well-researched.

What I would have liked to have more of would have been less of a stress on the issue of colonialism and even nationalism that crept into the book on occasion. I found this discussion speculative and distracting. Although this may sound silly, I would have liked a few more plates in there regarding early Coptic art and architecture. These allow the reader to have a stronger connection to the places and people being discussed.

Thank you for an interesting book and I am looking forward to the next book of the series.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on January 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TheoGnostus VINE VOICE on July 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"... Specifically, I want to explore late antique Coptic Christian understandings of the incarnation, and I propose to do so from a new theoretical perspective." Stephen J. Davis, in Coptic Christology and Ritualized Dress

History of the Coptic Church:
When the late distinguished Professor Aziz Atiya wrote his classic "The History of Eastern Christianity, 1968, with one chapter on the Copts in his book, he intended to view the Coptic Church within its original milieu, and admitted that writing a detailed history of his own people, need time and resources beyond what those raised for his 8 volumes Coptic encyclopedia, that have become a landmark.
Since then, two distinguished books were written, from the greatly admired Coptologist, late Professor Otto Meinardus, on Coptic history and life, while the second, "Christ in Christian Tradition, The Church of Alexandria With Nubia and Ethiopia" treats Coptic theology, above all Christology, by the eminent scholars Grillmeier and Hainthaler.

New Historiography perspective:
Stephen Davis, an accomplished linguist with a commanding knowledge of both Coptic and Arabic and a trained theologian who has lived and taught in Egypt and is thoroughly at home with Bible interpretation by the Alexandrian Church Fathers. Quoting Athanasius of Alexandria famous statement (On the Incarnation), "He became human in order that we might become divine" Stephen J. Davis's outstanding "Coptic Christology in Practice," not only explores how Coptic Christians have appropriated, explained, defended, and performed the Christology that they inherited from Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria, but proves he earned the tools of a genuine perspective.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on July 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Apostolicity, martyrdom, monastic patronage, and theological resistance are the four major themes during this formative period for the Coptic Church." Anon

This serious approach to the history of the Coptic Church, which extends to almost nineteen centuries by Dr. Stephen J. Davis, Yale Divinity rising star. His expertise on Coptic Church history and theology starts by assigning three volumes, one for each historical period of six centuries. He reviews the Church of Alexandria from its debated origins in the great city, to the rise of Islam mid seventh century. The main thread is mostly through the its early Catechetical scholars and monastic leaders.
The author laid out the modern approach to the investigative research, on the subject.

In addressing such themes, Davis explores a wide spectrum of information in texts, letters, sermons, theological treatises, and ancient church histories, Synixarium which included the biography of saints written by Church writers. He exposed as well Coptic art, textiles, church artifacts, and conserved archaeological items, to rediscover what the Alexandrine Bishops have established, and how their thought was represented in theological discourses, that shaped Alexandrine Orthodoxy, and established Coptic tradition, beliefs, and Coptic Christian identity, before and after the advent of Islam.

His guidelines included surveys and sources, regional and geographical studies, language and education in late antiquity, Cultural contents and encounters, especially in Alexandria, with Judaism, Hellenism, Gnosticism and the influence of Egyptian religious traditions. He explores Coptic hagiography, piety, and the Cult of saints and Martyrs.
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