St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society

Eighth St. Shenouda Conference of Coptic Studies Registration Form

September 8-9, 2006

Presentations @ UCLA, Royce Hall Room 314, Los Angeles California 90024


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Schedule: The following is a tentative schedule for the conference:

Friday, September 8, 2006

8:30-10:00 a.m. Registration
10:00-10:05 a.m. Opening Remarks by Hany N. Takla
10:05-10:30 a.m.
Hany N. Takla, Coptic Manuscripts in the Collection of the St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society in Los Angeles.
10:30-11:00 a.m.
Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef, A Coptic Bishop of the 7th Century-Gregory of al-Kais
11:00-11:15 a.m.
Prof. Boulos Ayad Ayad, The Differences and Similarities Between the Ancient Egyptians, the Greco-Romans, and the Coptic Civilizations According to their Artifacts
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00-1:15 p.m.
Dr. S. Michael Saad, Tribute to Dr. Ernie Tune
1:15-1:45 p.m. Ms. Betty Clements, The Ernest W. Tune Collection in Claremont
1:45-2:15 p.m. Dr. Dennis MacDonald, The Apocryphal   Acts of John and Acts of   Andrew as Windows into Alexandrian Christianity   at the   Time of Clement.
2:15-2:30 p.m. Break
2:30-3:00 p.m. Mr. Michael Phelps, A Next-Generation System for Digitizing Fragile Codices
3:00-3:30 p.m. Dr. Monica Bontty, The Copts in Louisiana
3:30-3:45 p.m. Break
3:45-4:30 p.m. Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, "A Man Holy and Perfect": The Holy Man as Didaskalos (Teacher) and Mathetes (Disciple and Pupil) in the Life of Paisios/Bishoy Attributed to John Kolobos
6:30-7:30 p.m. Tour of the Coptic Library and Coptic artifacts at the St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies, located at 1494 So. Robertson Blvd, LA, CA 90035, Ste 102, 204.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

8:30-9:30 a.m. Registration
9:30-10:00 a.m.
State of the Society Address by Hany N. Takla
10:00-10:30 a.m.

Ms. Michelle Youssef, Sister Churches for 2,000 years: A story of communion, conflict, estrangement, and a reawakening to their inherent bond

10:30-11:00 a.m.
Dr. Joe Sedrak, The Modern Revival of the Coptic Language
11:00-11:15 a.m.
11:15-11:45 a.m.
Prof. James Robinson, The Gospel of Judas and the Sethians

11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Prof. Scott Bartchy, Why Wasn't the Gospel of Judas Included in the Christian New Testament?
12:15-1:15 p.m.
Lunch Recess

1:15-1:30 p.m.

St. Shenouda The Archimandrite Achievement Award Presentation
1:30-2:00 p.m. Dr. John McKenna, The Concept of "Nature" in the Thought of John Philoponus
2:00-2:30 p.m. Prof. Boulos Ayad Ayad, Three Notable Priests of the Coptic Orthodox Church
2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45-3:15 p.m. Dr. Maged S. A. Mikhail, Pope Demetrius I of Alexandria
3:15-4:00p.m. Dr. Gawdat Gabra, The Newly Renovated Coptic Museum
4:00-4:15 p.m. Break
4:10-5:00 p.m.

Business Meeting of the Members of St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society

  Visiting Professorship in Coptic Studies at CGU Prof. Karen Torjesen/Dr. S. Michael Saad

   A Program in Coptic Studies at CGU Dr. S. Michael Saad

  Other Items



The Conference will be located on the Campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Royce Hall, Room 314.


Directions and Parking:

Coming from the south or from the Santa Monica Freeway:
Take the 405 N, Exit Wilshire East (Bear to the right at the exit)
Turn Right on Wilshire Blvd.
Turn Left on Westwood Ave. (the 3rd traffic light after exiting the fwy)
Turn Right on Leconte Ave
then turn Left on Hilgard Ave (the second light after turning into Le Conte
Turn Left on Westholme Drive, then turn right immediately in a driveway to the information booth.
Request parking in Lot #2, parking is $8 per day and mention that you attending the St Shenouda Coptic Conference at Royce Hall.
The attendant at the booth can direct you to Royce Hall.
Enter in the left-most door of Royce Hall and take the elevator up to the third floor (Room #314).

Coming from the north (The San Fernando Valley):
Take the 405 S, Exit Sunset East
Turn Left on Sunset Blvd.
Turn Right on Hilgard Ave.
Turn Right on Westholme Drive, then turn right immediately in a driveway to the information booth.
Request parking in Lot #2, parking is $8 per day.
The attendant at the booth can direct you to Royce Hall.
Enter in the left-most door of Royce Hall and take the elevator up to the third floor (Room #314).


Preliminary List of Speakers:


Title: The Differences and Similarities Between the Ancient Egyptians, the Greco-Romans, and the Coptic Civilizations According to their Artifacts

Presenter:  Prof. Boulos Ayad Ayad, (Boulder, Colorado)


The artifacts left by the ancient Egyptians and housed in numerous museums inside and outside Egypt. Opened the path for scholars to compare such artifacts and those discovered in Egypt from the Greco-Roman period and those of the Coptic culture.

Such artifacts, originally left by the ancient Egyptians in tombs, houses, and temples include the following: toys; boats; KA statues; games; statues of animanls, deities, kings, tomb owners, and even servants; food and drink; mummies of all types; house wares; tools; cometic and beauty items such as mirrors; weapons; furniture; literature and writings on papyrus; stele; and decorations such as paintings and inscriptions.

The difference between the Coptic artifacts and those of the Ancient Egyptians during the time of the Pharohs and the Greco-Roman perios could be summarized as follows:

  1. The Pharaohs, the Greek Kings, and the Roman Emperors who ruled Egypt all had their own artifacts. We can notice differences among them.
  2. The artifacts of the non-royal inhabitants of Egypt during the rule of the Greeks and the Romans shared certain similarities with those of the Ancient Egyptians.
  3. As Christianity spread through Egypt during the Roman Empire, Coptic art became part of the people, which was influenced by Christian faith and the Greco-Roman cultures.
  4. The Scholars who studied both the Coptic and ancient Egyptians artifacts noted the differences in the paintings, icons, architectures, textiles, books, papyri, stele or tomb graves, and the language.
  5. The Coptic civilization and the Coptic artifacts influenced Western culture.


Title: Three Notable Priests of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Presenter:  Prof. Boulos Ayad Ayad, (Boulder, Colorado)


A. Father Ibrahim Luka: He was born in Esna, one of the towns of Upper Egypt, on the 19th of January 1897. After he completed his public education in 1915, he joined the Theological School. After three years of his study he graduated in 1918. In 1920 he married, and in 1923 he was orained a priest in the Church of Asyut. But in 1925 he left Asyut to serve in the Church of Saint Mark, Heliopolis, Cairo.

He was very active in his spiritual services to the Coptic community. And he was active as well in his writing by establishing the journal al-Yaqazah and authoring several books.

His love of learning led him to collect a hugh library. He was involved in building churches in Cairo and a cemetery in Heliopolis. His other activities included a charity program, a society for women, and services for workmen in Heliopolis among others.

He was involved in the renaissance of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church. He supported reaching out to the Ethiopian Church, becoming a friend to the then Emperor Haile Selassi of Ethiopia. He worked with other churches for Christian unity. He was successful in both his religious and social services. On December 19, 1950, he passed away after a short illness.

B. Father Marcos Daoud: His Holiness Pope Shenouda III wrote about Fr. Marcos Daoud, "If I want to talk about Fr. Marcos Daoud, that means I am talking about a whole generation in his personality. I speak about his life which is fruitful in many directions: As a person, graduated from the Theological School, a preacher, teacher, writer, translator; also as a priest who had his prayers on the sacred altar of God, and as a beloved man who had his pastorate as a Father, and his social work among the people; as secretary and head of the Society of the Friends of the Holy Bible in Egypt …" He and the members of the Society of the Friends of the Holy Bible established the Church of St. Mark in Shoubra, Cairo. They also built the Church of St. Mina in the district of al-Mandara. Alexandria. He was born on May 20, 1897 and passed away on October 26, 1986. Through his lengthy life, he met many of the great personalities, scholars, heads of Churches, kings, and emperors.

C. Fr. Mikhael Saad: He was born in 1909 and passed away on January25, 1996. He dedicated his life to serve the Lord since 1921 when he was just 12 years old. In that year he started his religious activity in Sunday School. After he completed his education, he was ordained a priest in 1947 to serve the altar of the Church of the Angel Michael in the district of Gorbal, Alexandria. After three years he handled the purchase of 1,000 square meters of land in the Sammuha area of Alexandria. There he built the Church of St. Mary and St. Youssef (Joseph). Then he was chosen to be the priest of this church.

He was able to secure additional land near the Church in 1961. He started to build another hugh building in 1974, but because of the governmentalroutine, the project was completed only after 22 years, in 1996.

Dr. Saad Michael Saad, son of the late Fr. Mikhael, write an article about his father. In it he summarized the ceremony of the opening of the 'House of Blessing' by H.H. Pope Shenouda III and Bishop Youannes and Bishop Antony on the 27th of October 1996. During that day, the Pope said, "Today I am happy to visit the 'House of Blessing' which is attached to the Church of St. mary and St. Youssef in Sammuha… The house includes six floors with different wings. The building includes: a nursery school, a hospital which occupies some floors, the house for the female refugees, and the house for the aged ones. I would like to offer my many thanks to the late Fr. Mikhael Saad who erected such a great edifice in Sammuha."

In addition to all of this, Fr. Mikhael was a famous preacher and writer who authored a number of books and many articles. He established a library, visited daily by more than oen hundred students. All who wrote about him mentioned his spirituality; he knew and feared God in all his ways.


Title: The Ernest W. Tune Collection in Claremont

Presenter: Ms. Betty Clements (Claremont, CA)


Dr. Ernest W. Tune described his collection this way: "The primary focus  of the Tune collection is on the multi-cultural histories and languages of the  Upper Nile Valley (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia) and North-East Africa in general  from about 800 B.C. to around 1300 A.D. The collection is very strong with  basic source materials in the original languages. The major subject areas are:  Demotic (Egyptian) Texts and Linguistics, Coptic Studies (very extensive  holdings in all categories), Meroitic Inscriptions and Decipherment, Nubian  Salvage Archaeology, Language and Literature, Manichaean Manuscript Studies,  Papyrology (extensive Collection of published texts), Hellenistic Greek  Language and Literature, Patristic Texts, Early Christian Manuscript Studies,  New Testament Textual Criticism, Roman Egypt." In 1995, Dr. Tune gave this  personal research collection to the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity  for use by scholars and students; in 1999, at his suggestion, the collection  was moved to the Claremont School of Theology Library and placed in the care  of the librarians there. To date, however, only a portion of the collection  has been fully cataloged and entered in the online catalog of the Libraries of  The Claremont Colleges (Blais). In keeping with Dr. Tune's intent, all the  materials are available for onsite use. Together with significant materials  given directly to the School of Theology Library by Dr. Tune, the Tune  Collection in Claremont adds significantly to resources for Coptic Studies in  Southern California.

I will describe briefly some of the Coptological material  in the Tune Collection and also mention some of the related items that  Dr. Tune acquired for the CST Library when he was the  Library Director and gave to the Library in more recent years.


Title: The Renovation of the Coptic Museum and Its new Display

Presenter: Dr. Gawdat Gabra (Fountain Valley, Cairo, EGYPT)


The Coptic museum boasts the largest collection of Coptic art. In 1908 Marcos Simaika Pasha founded that museum on behalf of the Coptic Church. In 1931 the Egyptian government recognized its importance and attached it to the State. In 1984 the Coptic Museum was renovated and modern methods of exhibition were introduced. The earthquake which devastated many of Cairo's architectural monuments in 1992 also effected the Coptic Museum, as well as the famous church of al-Mu‘allaqa nearby. The museum had to be closed and the objects taken off display. After a lengthy closure, President Mubarak officially opened the fully renovated museum with its completely new installation of the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Coptic art and artifacts on June 26, 2006. The philosophy behind the interior design and installation of the reopened museum aims to meet the standards set by ICOM (International Council of Museums). The passage connecting the two wings allows visitors to move unimpeded in one direction through the galleries; it serves simultaneously as an exhibition gallery. The historical integrity of the building’s architecture and ?ttings are maintained and underscored without detracting from the objects. Advanced technology has been utilized for lighting and display to achieve maximum visual and aesthetic impact. The most striking feature of the museum as a whole is the aesthetic unity of the works and their architectural setting. The objects are truly at home in this museum. The new display of the main groups of monuments such as those of the monasteries of St. Jeremiah at Saqqara and St. Apollo at Bawit will be introduced.


Title: The Apocryphal  Acts of John and Acts of  Andrew as Windows  into Alexandrian Christianity  at the  Time of Clement.

Presenter:  Prof. Dennis Macdonald (Claremont, California)


Two of the five major apocryphal  Acts  of apostles appear to have been written in  Alexandria around the year 200  CE. Unlike the other  three such Acts (those pertaining to the apostles  Paul, Peter, and Thomas, these two works betray the hand of Christian intellectuals with deep roots in Greek philosophy. In this  lecture Dr. MacDonald will explore their use of  classical Greek literature, especially Homer, Euripides, and Plato, and their implications for assessing the  growth of early Christianity in general.


Title: A Next-Generation System for Digitizing Fragile Codices

Presenter: Mr. Michael Phelps (Claremont, California)


The field of ‘manuscript imaging’ has undergone a transition from microfilm to digital imaging.  Digital technologies produce superior images, but lack the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and transportability of microfilm technologies.  As a result, we are capturing better images, but have lost the ability to create surrogate image collections of entire libraries.  With many manuscript libraries still undocumented, a digital imaging system that approximates the strengths of microfilming is needed.  With the digital library project of St. Catherine’s Monastery and Stokes Imaging of Austin, Texas, the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library has initiated a process to design such a system.  It features an automated 4x5 camera and a mechanized book cradle, is modular and transportable, and integrates hardware and software to optimize efficiency.


Title: The Gospel of Judas and the Sethians

Presenter: Prof. James M. Robinson (Claremont, California)


The Gospel of Judas has been defined by its editors as a Sethian text. As a result, it has been interpreted by reading into it standard Sethianism. But the more recent research on this branch of Gnosticism by the leading expert on Sethianism today, John Turner, has put in question that standard picture. The result is that its uncritical use for The Gospel of Judas forms a kind of procrustean bed into which the new text has been placed. Its Sethianism is actually rather minimal. The text shows signs of a rather complex composition. An analylsis of the composition itself would seem to be prerequisite to a better understanding of its “Sethianism.” The present paper begins such an undertaking.


Title: The Modern Revival of the Coptic Language

Presenter: Dr. Joseph Sedrak (Riverside, California)


Coptic is the last survivying witness to the 6,000 years plus written Egyptian Language. Its glory days of the time of St. Shenouda the Archimandrite and the post-chalcedonian, pre-Arabic invasion period was gradually but steadly declined over time. This decline was due to the dwindling number of Egyptian Christians and the decline of its use among the Coptic intellegencia. Thia affected original composition in the language and finally the spoken language. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a movement within the church to reform and revive the language. This paper will attempt to document such movement and how it evolved to what is observed today. It will specifically deal with the following issues:


Title: "A Man Holy and Perfect": The Holy Man as Didaskalos (Teacher) and Mathetes (Disciple and Pupil) in the Life of Paisios/Bishoy Attributed to John Kolobos

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian (Bakersfield, California)


Most study of the holy man/person in Late Antiquity focuses on the saint as patron, thaumaturge, mediator and teacher, and intercessor. While all of these roles occur in the Life of Paisios/Bishoy attributed to John Kolobos, there is one further role: that of didaskalos (teacher) AND mathetes (disciple and pupil). In the hagiographical Life of Paisios, Paisios serves as both teacher and pupil, thus modeling both roles for his monastic audience.

In this paper I will look at both what Paisios teaches and what he learns. What does this monastic pedagogy tell us about early monastic hagiography? What did monastic authors and readers hope to learn from such edifying tales as that of Paisios? This paper plans to address such issues and place the Life within the larger context of Egyptian monasticism in Late Antiquity.


Title: Sister Churches for 2,000 years: A story of communion, conflict, estrangement, and a reawakening to their inherent bond

Presenter: Ms. Michelle Youssef (Brentwood, California)


This paper will focus on two churches, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church and offer a brief sketch of their relationship from before the disputes of Chalcedon to the present dialogue towards reconciliation.  Through battles, periods of isolation and anger and resentment over missionaries to the vibrant, assiduous, fruitful and hopeful dialogue of today we will examine the historical factors leading up to the present dialogue


Title:  A Coptic Bishop of the 7th Century-Gregory of al-Kais

Presenter:  Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef, (Melbourne, Australia)


The name Gregory of al-Kais is mentioned in several texts relating to the end of the 7th century. In this paper I will investigate all the Coptic and Arabic Source that mention him to construct his life and personality. These sources include:


Prepared by Hany N. Takla, September 4, 2006

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