Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt

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9780199744848: Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt

In this book, Febe Armanios explores Coptic religious life in Ottoman Egypt (1517-1798), focusing closely on manuscripts housed in Coptic archives. Ottoman Copts frequently turned to religious discourses, practices, and rituals as they dealt with various transformations in the first centuries of Ottoman rule. These included the establishment of a new political regime, changes within communal leadership structures (favoring lay leaders over clergy), the economic ascent of the archons (lay elites), and developments in the Copts' relationship with other religious communities, particularly with Catholics.

Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt highlights how Copts, as a minority living in a dominant Islamic culture, identified and distinguished themselves from other groups by turning to an impressive array of religious traditions, such as the visitation of saints' shrines, the relocation of major festivals to remote destinations, the development of new pilgrimage practices, as well as the writing of sermons that articulated a Coptic religious ethos in reaction to Catholic missionary discourses. Within this discussion of religious life, the Copts' relationship to local political rulers, military elites, the Muslim religious establishment, and to other non-Muslim communities are also elucidated. In all, the book aims to document the Coptic experience within the Ottoman Egyptian context while focusing on new documentary sources and on an historical era that has been long neglected.

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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.

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


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Egypt s Coptic Christians are the largest non-Muslim minority in the Middle East. Yet Copts, one of the world s oldest Christian communities, remain understudied relative to other ethnic and religious minorities in the region. They have been marginalized in existing scholarship, their experience subsumed by that of the majority Muslim population within Egypt. This is particularly true in studies of the Ottoman era (1517-1798), a pivotal period in the shaping of modern Egypt. This book is the first monograph to examine the religious beliefs and traditions of Christians in Ottoman Egypt and to understand Coptic religious expression in the context of its surrounding culture. More broadly, this study reveals Ottoman society s diversity by examining the intimate interaction between Muslim and Christian practice, and between the Muslim majority and ethno-religious minorities generally. This book will not only enrich our understanding of the Ottoman period but also elucidate the complex relations between majority and minority populations in the Middle East today. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780199744848

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Egypt s Coptic Christians are the largest non-Muslim minority in the Middle East. Yet Copts, one of the world s oldest Christian communities, remain understudied relative to other ethnic and religious minorities in the region. They have been marginalized in existing scholarship, their experience subsumed by that of the majority Muslim population within Egypt. This is particularly true in studies of the Ottoman era (1517-1798), a pivotal period in the shaping of modern Egypt. This book is the first monograph to examine the religious beliefs and traditions of Christians in Ottoman Egypt and to understand Coptic religious expression in the context of its surrounding culture. More broadly, this study reveals Ottoman society s diversity by examining the intimate interaction between Muslim and Christian practice, and between the Muslim majority and ethno-religious minorities generally. This book will not only enrich our understanding of the Ottoman period but also elucidate the complex relations between majority and minority populations in the Middle East today. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780199744848

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