St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society

Society Progress 2005-6

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Eighth St. Shenouda Coptic Conference

Beginning September 8, 2006, the Society held its eighth general conference of Coptic Studies. This two-day event was held on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), through the courtesy of the UCLA's Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Dept. and the hard work of the Coptic Collegiate Club there. The theme returned to the original format of general Coptic Studies. There were 19 presentations delivered by and for scholars and members of the Society from the US and Australia. The participants included lay Copts, graduate students, and college professors with ages ranging from the early 20s to the late 70s and representing nine different universities. They had one common denominator, the love for Coptic Studies. This was the tenth Society-sponsored scholarly event in the field of Coptic Studies in Los Angeles. It helped to further the Society's efforts to promote scholarly research among the Coptic Community in this field as well as attract wider participation by universities throughout Southern California. A full report about the Conference will be included in the upcoming issue of the St. Shenouda Coptic Quarterly.

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St. Mark Foundation (SMF) has successfully concluded the third Symposium on Coptic Monasticism, which dealt with the history of Christianity and Monasticism in the Sohag and Akhmim area. This five-day event was held at St. Shenouda Monastery in Sohag, hosted by the bishop in charge of the monastery, Anba Youannis, and under the auspices of H.H. Pope Shenouda III. Over 30 papers were presented about virtually all aspects of St. Shenouda, his life and times, accomplishment, and neighborhood. Locally the event was greatly welcomed by the people and the government which is a tribute to the tireless effort of the bishop; the Christians there; and of course the blessings of the area patron saint, St. Shenouda the Archimandrite. The Symposium also highlighted the great contribution that Prof. Stephen Emmel done in the field of Shenoutian Studies and inspired many of the papers presented there. It was truly a historical event.  Dr. Fawzy Estafanous and the organizational staff of SMF, headed by Dr. Hoda Garas did a great job.  The tireless efforts of Dr. Gawdat Gabra in developing and organizing the scholarly aspects of this meeting were also instrumental in its success.  He assembled a program and a list of participants that is world-class in the field. This was matched by the world-class treatment that was given to all who attended by the scores of the Coptic youth assembled by the monastery and the Diocese. Several members and officers of the Society were present at the event.

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a. COEPA: The Society is continuing its cooperation with COEPA to promote and distribute their excellent products in the US, which is related to our work. Their newly released CD-Rom title, The Coptic Orthodox electronic Reference library (COeRL), contained licensed two modules of our Coptic CD. This 2-CD set includes over hundreds of works, essential to students and members of the Coptic Church, including the Coptic Lessons with sound support and the dictionary, published previously by the Society.

b Coptic Digital Library (CDL): The Society took great strides toward the establishment of an extensive digital library of Coptic Studies. This will include items from the Society's offprint collection, catalogs of Coptic and Christian Arabic manuscripts, and rare and essential volumes in the field. So far, the CDL includes about 100,000 frames comprising approximately 160,000 pages. Much of the material has been scanned by the Society. Several of these titles have been announced so far. This work will be made available to scholars and students involved in Coptic Studies and related fields for nominal fees. It will be furnished in PDF format on CDs, and will be announced when ready. Inquiries about other titles not in the published list can be mailed or emailed to the Society.

c. Computers at the Coptic Center: This year, thanks to the continued efforts of Mr. Sameh Hanna, our network was expanded and upgraded with five new workstations, two notebooks, and two scanners. We currently have the entire set of Digitized microfilms and the contents of scanned images that were done this year installed on the server and are accessible through all the workstations there. We are also expanding the storage capacity to accommodate the new planned digital libraries of Coptic Music and Fr. Bishoy Memorial Multimedia Library.

d. Global Access (Internet):  This year we continued our solid presence on the Internet.  HTTP://WWW.STSHENOUDA.COM is still our current website address.  The traffic is averaging about 50,000 hits a month with visitors over the last year from nearly every state in the US as well as over 120 different countries from six continents. We have added three more internet domains that are currently being configured to provide access to the Society's vast resources in Coptic Studies.


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During the past year the Coptic library, including books and periodicals, grew to over 3,200 volumes of material in the different branches of Coptic Studies. We expanded the library in nearly every section of its 21 different sections. We are continuing the expansion and the development of the library to contain all the necessary references required by those who want to learn and/or to research the Coptic Heritage. The notable additions were as follows:


a.      Coptic Art/Architecture/Inscriptions: Bagnall, R.S. & Rathbone, D.W. Egypt from Alexander to the Early Christians – An Archeological and Historical Guide. (2004); Ballet, P. et al. Kellia II - L'Ermitage Copte QR195-Ceramique, Inscriptions, Décor. (2003); Henein, N. Kellia II - L'Ermitage Copte QR195-Archeologie et Architecture. (2000); Van Moorsel, P. Le Monastere de Saint Paul – Pres de le Mer Rouge. (2002); Shafik, M. St. Mina the Miracle Worker – History of Deir Mar Mina in Fum al-Khalig. (2003); Sommers-Clarke, Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. (1912).

b.      Coptic Bible, Old  & New: Bauer, G. Konkordanz der Nichtflektierten Griechischen Wörter im Bohairischen Neuen Testament. (1975); Boismard, M.E. L'Evangile delon Matthieu d'Apres le Papyrus Copte de la Collection Shøyen – Analyse Litteraire. (2003); Dognicz, C. Bibliography of the Septuagint 1970-1993. (1995); Giorgi, A.A. Fragmentum Evangelii S. Iohannis Graeco-Copto-Thebaicum saeculi IV: additamentum ex vetustissimis membranis lectionum evangelicarum divinae Missae cod. diaconici reliquiae et liturgica alia fragmenta veteris Thebaidensium ecclesiae ante Dioscorum ex Veliterno Museo Borgiano nunc prodeunt (1789); Kittel, G. & Friedrich, G. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. 10 vols. (Reprint 2006); Lussier, P. Les Citations Vetero-Testamentaires dans les Versions Coptes des Evangiles (1998); Schüssler, K. Epistularum Catholicarum Versio Sahidica. (Diss:1969).

c.       Coptic Festschrifts and Conference Proceedings: Ebied, R. & Teule, H. Studies on the Christian Arabic Heritage in Honor of Fr. Prof. Dr. Samir Khalil Samir at the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday. (2004); Gabra, G. Chrisitianity and Monasticism in the Fayoum Oasis. (2205); Tanner, K. & Hall, C.A. Ancient and Post Modern Christianity, Paleo-Orthodoxy in the 21st Century. Essays in Honor of Thomas C. Oden. (2002).

d.      Canon Law and Legal Texts: Grohmann, A. Arabic Papyri in the Egyptian Library v.2 Legal Texts (1936), v.3 Administrative Texts. (1938); MacCoull, L. Coptic Perspectives on Late Antiquity. (1993); Price, R. & Gaddis, M. The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon. 3 vols (2005); Till, W.C. Datierung und Prosopographie der Koptischen Urkunden aus Theben. (1962).

e.      Catalogs of Manuscripts/Bibliographies: Mingarelli, G.L. Aegyptiorum codicum reliquiae venetiis in Bibliotheca Naniana asservatae. (1785); Simaika, M. Catalogue of the Coptic Museum. (1939); Störk, L. Koptische Handschriften 4. Die Handschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin 1. Liturgische Handschriften 1 (2002); Troupeau, G. Bibliotheque Nationale, Departement des Manuscrits: Catalogue des manuscrits arabes. Premiere partie: Manuscrits chretiens. Tome1: Numeros 1-323 (1972), Tome 2: Manuscrits Disperses entre les numeros 780-6933 (1974),

f.        Coptic Gnosticism & Apocrypha: Kasser, R. & Meyer, M. & Wurst. The Gospel of Judas from Codex Tchacos. (2006); Layton, B. Coptic Gnostic Chrestomathy. (2004); Robinson, F. Coptic Apocryphal Gospels. (Reprint:2004); Robinson, J. The Secrets of Judas – The Story of the Misundersttod Disciple and His Lost Gospel. (2006).

g.      Coptic Hagiography: Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus. (1972); Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles. (1935); Giorgi, A.A. De Miraculis Sancti Coluthi et Religuiis Actorum Sancti Panesniv Martyrum Thebaica Fragmenta Duo Alterum Auctius Alterum Nunc Primum Editum. (1793); Pepin, R. & Feiss, H. Saint Mary of Egypt. Three Medieval Lives in Verse. (2006);.

h.      Coptic History and Geography: Colombo. Le Origini della Gerarchia della Chiesa Copta Cattolica nel Secolo XVIII. (1953); Daoud, N.K. et al. History of Christianity and Monasticism in Dioceses of Sohag and Akhmim. (Ar. 2006); Deir Abu Maqar. Abouna al-Qummus Matta al-Maskin. (Ar. 2006); Deir Abu Seifen. The Angelic Life – The Virgin Mary & Other Virgins in Different Ages. v.1 (2004); ___. The Virgin Mary & History of the Generations of Nuns. (Ar. 2002) Empereur, J-Y. Alexandria-Jewel of the Nile. (2002); Iskander, M.M. History of Christianity and its Monuments in the Five Western Cities (Pentapolis). (Ar. 2nd print: 2005); Michalopoulos, G. The American Orthodox Church – A History of its Beginning. (2003); Nakhla, K.S. Series of History of the Patriarchs. (5 parts in one, Ar. Reprint 2001); Pacini, A. Christian Communities in the Arab middle East – The Challenge of the Future. (1998); Parry, D.J. et al. The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. (Reprint 2004); Pearson, B.A. The Emergence of the Christian Religion-essays on Early Christianity. (1997); Quatremere, E.M. Recherches ... sur la langue et la littérature de l'Egypte. (1808); Samaan al-Suriani. The Famous Copts in the 29th Century. 4 parts (Arabic:2000-2001); St. John, B. Village Life in Egypt with Sketches of the Said. 2 vol (1852); Wansleben, J.M. The Present State of Egypt. (1677).

i.        Coptic and Other Languages: Azevedo, J. A Simplified Coptic Dictionary (Sahidic Dialect). (2001); Crum, A Coptic Dictionary (Reprint:2005); Deir Abu Maqar. Grammar of the Greek Language of for the New Testament (Arabic, 2005); Ibrahim, B. Al-Kharida al-Bahia Fi Usul Al-Lugha al-Qibtiya (The Luminous Oracle in the Fundamentals of the Coptic Language) (Ar, 1882); Khouzam, F. La Langue Egyptienne au Moyen Age – Le Manuscrit Copte 44 de Paris. v.1 (2002); Raphael, M.B. pijwm nniajp – The Hourly Prayers: A Decorated Colored Coptic Manuscript and the Coptic Text Analysed and Translated into Arabic & English. (2005); Reintges, C. H. Coptic Egyptian (Sahidic dialect): a Learner's Grammar (2004); Younan, S. So You want to learn Coptic. (2005).

j.        Coptic Literature/Patristics: Anonymous. Kitab Tuhfat al-Zuhur Al-Zakia Li Nufus al-Abadah al-Massihia (the book of the Jewel of the Precious Orchids For the Christian Worshipping Souls). (Ar, 1867); Clean, A. (Translator). Kinz al-Tafsir fi Ingil Luka al Bashir (The Treasure of the Commentary of the Gospel of Luke the Evangelist). (Ar 1882); Franke, J.R. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Old Testament 4 (2006); Hill, R.C. St. John Chrysostom – Commentary on the Psalms. 2 vol. (1998); ___. The Fathers of the Church v.111. Didymus the Blind Commentary on Zechariah (2006); Kahle, P.E. Bala'izah. 2 vol. (1954); Müller, Die Bucher der Einstzung der Erzengel Michael und Gabriel. (CSCO 226, 1962); Simonetti, M. Matthew 14-28: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. New Testament 1b (1998); Simonetti, M. & Conti, M. Job: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Old Testament 6 (2006); Weinrich, W.C. Revelation: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. New Testament XII: (2005); Wiesmann, H. Sinuthii Archimandritae Vita et Opera Omnia III (CSCO 96, 1931); ___. Sinuthii Archimandritae Vita et Opera Omnia IV (CSCO 108, Reprint: 1964); Nock, A.D. & Festugiere. Corpus Hermeticum (2005).

k.      Coptic Liturgy:.Hanna, M. The Book of Laqan fo the Feast of our Fathers the Apostles. (2005).

l.        Coptic Monasticism: Bertrand, P. Die Evagriusubersetzung der Vita Antonii. (Diss: 2005); Vivian, T. Words to Live By Journeys in Ancient and Modern Egyptian Monasticism. (2005).

m.    Coptic Magic: Kropp, A. Ausgewählte Koptische Zaubertexte (3 vol); Stegemann, V. Die Koptischen Zaubertexte der Sammlung Papyrus Erzherzeg Rainer in Wien. (1934); Viaud, C. Magie et Coutumes Populaires chez les Coptes d'Egypte. (1978).

n.      Periodicals: Bulletin of the Society for Coptic Archeology v.39 (2000), 40 (2001), 41 (2002), 42 (2003), 43 (2004); Collectanea Christiana Orientalia v.3 (2006); Coptic Church Review vol 26-4 (2005), vol.27 (1-3) (2006); Irenikon v.78:1-2,3,4 (2005); Journal of Coptic Studies v. 7 (2005); Studia Orientalia Christiana-Collectanea v.37 (2004).

o.      Coptic Theology:. Ghattas, M. Die Christologie Didymus' des Blinden von Alexandria in den Schriften von Tura. (2002); Grube, G.W. The Complete Book of Orthodoxy. (2001); Carlton, C. The Faith – Understanding Orthodox Christianity. An Orthodox Catechism. (1997); ___ The Truth – What every Roman Catholic should know about the Orthodox  Church. (1999); ___ The Truth – What every Protestant should  know about the Orthodox Church. (1997).

p.      Coptic Manuscript Collection: Ms. 2, Revelation (B-Ar) acquired 32 new folios for a total of 43; Ms. 3, Liturgical Papyrus fragment; Ms. 4, Psalmodia for the Month of Kihak (B, B&Ar, Ar. undated); Ms. 5, Life of St. Takla Haymanout (Arabic, 1902); Ms. 6, Maimar of Ayoub (Ar, 1948); Ms. 7, Coptic Offices (B-Ar, Undated); Ms. 8 Horologion (Ar, undated) [Gift from Bishop Dioscorus]; Ms. 9 through 17, Liturgical fragments from the collection of Rev. John Mosley Master, Manchester England (148 leaves, undated).

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The Coptic MiniConferences

The Society continued its periodic program of limited one-day MiniConferences at the Coptic Center. One session was conducted in May 2006. It included two short presentations on various subjects and one single major presentation on Coptic Monasticism. Prof. Claudia Rapp of UCLA was the feature speaker. There was an accompanying Library Book exhibits for manuscripts and rare books in the collection of the Coptic Center. Attendance was over 20 persons in this meeting.

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The Advanced Coptic Seminar continued its work primarily on selections from the Bohairic book of Genesis. Three Beginning and Intermediate Coptic classes were either completed or are currently in session.  

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a. St. Shenouda Coptic Quarterly (SSCQ): Four issues of volume two of this quarterly journal were published and mailed to our members.

b. Coptica: The fifth volume of Coptica is in the last stages of preparation and will be distributed to members and subscribers in the next two months. It includes selected papers from ones submitted during last year's and this year's Conferences. For the next few issues, beginning with volume 6, we are adopting a uniform theme for the papers included in each volume. The first theme is tentatively set for Coptic Monasticism.


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The Society has recently sent proposed resolution to revise its bylaws to its voting memembers. It was designed to streamline its administration, generalize its mandatory dissolution clause, and expand the eligibility of membership. The results were 39 out of 93 ballots were received with 38 Yes and one No votes. The passing of the revised Bylaws is reflected in the Membership application rules.

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Prepared by Hany N. Takla 10/17/2006

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