Catalogue


Christians versus Muslims in modern Egypt : the century-long struggle for Coptic equality /
S. Hasan.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2003.
description
xvi, 320 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195138686 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2003.
isbn
0195138686 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5061885
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-10-01:
Hasan, a Muslim scholar, has undertaken a study of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East--the Copts in Egypt. Coptic Church leader Pope Shenuda III "opened up" his church to Hasan for close study and observation. In discussing sensitive issues with church bishops, the author recognizes that any conclusions she reaches are entirely her own. Hasan's study is divided into seven parts: (1) "The Historical Background," (2) "The Sunday School Movement," (3) "The Church as Political Spokesman," (4) "The Church as Socioeconomic Entrepreneur," (5) "The Church as Cultural Agent," (6) "The Politics of Identity," and (7) "Three Questions for the Twenty-First Century." The major focus of Hasan's five-year study was the avowed objectives of the reform movement and the means by which they were pursued. Hasan concludes that "reform Orthodoxy tried to teach previously passive men (doubly so in that they belonged to a downtrodden and fearful minority) the methods of social and economic organization that would bring them into the modern age and enable them to claim their rightful place in the state." Noting that Copts "now demand the recognition of Christian Orthodoxy as a national religion on an equal footing with Islam," Hasan shows how this could happen. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty. T. M. Pucelik Bradley University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Hasan once again explores the complexities of religion and modernity, this time through a thorough and provocative examination of the twentieth century reform movement within the Egyptian Coptic Church. In simultaneously locating the impulse to reform in an internal dynamic within Coptichistory and society and in the wider social change in the largely Muslim society of Egypt, Hasan provides a comprehensive and accessible history of the modern Coptic Church and its role in Egyptian society. In that historical interpretation, Hasan embeds a subtle and intriguing contribution to thelarger, more general literature on religion in the modern world--a literature that has too long ignored the experience of the Christian communities of the Middle East. This book deserves a wide audience, not only among readers who want to understand modern Egypt but those who want to comprehend themany ways in which religious beliefs and institutions respond to modernity."--Lisa Anderson, Columbia University
"Hasan provides the best possible introduction to the experience ofreligious minorities in the contemporary Arab world: an insightful andilluminating analysis of the internal politics of the Coptic community in Egypt.The reconstruction of Coptic identity over the last half century, in response togrowing Islamic hostility, makes a fascinating story."--Michael Walzer,Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
"Hasan provides the best possible introduction to the experience of religious minorities in the contemporary Arab world: an insightful and illuminating analysis of the internal politics of the Coptic community in Egypt. The reconstruction of Coptic identity over the last half century, inresponse to growing Islamic hostility, makes a fascinating story."--Michael Walzer, Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
"Hasan's candid and well-researched work is an important contribution to understanding the church in today's Egypt."-- International Bulletin of Missionary Research
"Hasan's candid and well-researched work is an important contribution to understanding the church in today's Egypt."-- International Bulletin of Missionary Research "Hasan provides the best possible introduction to the experience of religious minorities in the contemporary Arab world: an insightful and illuminating analysis of the internal politics of the Coptic community in Egypt. The reconstruction of Coptic identity over the last half century, in response to growing Islamic hostility, makes a fascinating story."--Michael Walzer, Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study "Hasan once again explores the complexities of religion and modernity, this time through a thorough and provocative examination of the twentieth century reform movement within the Egyptian Coptic Church. In simultaneously locating the impulse to reform in an internal dynamic within Coptic history and society and in the wider social change in the largely Muslim society of Egypt, Hasan provides a comprehensive and accessible history of the modern Coptic Church and its role in Egyptian society. In that historical interpretation, Hasan embeds a subtle and intriguing contribution to the larger, more general literature on religion in the modern world--a literature that has too long ignored the experience of the Christian communities of the Middle East. This book deserves a wide audience, not only among readers who want to understand modern Egypt but those who want to comprehend the many ways in which religious beliefs and institutions respond to modernity."--Lisa Anderson, Columbia University
"Hasan's candid and well-researched work is an important contribution to understanding the church in today's Egypt."--International Bulletin of Missionary Research "Hasan provides the best possible introduction to the experience of religious minorities in the contemporary Arab world: an insightful and illuminating analysis of the internal politics of the Coptic community in Egypt. The reconstruction of Coptic identity over the last half century, in response to growing Islamic hostility, makes a fascinating story."--Michael Walzer, Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study "Hasan once again explores the complexities of religion and modernity, this time through a thorough and provocative examination of the twentieth century reform movement within the Egyptian Coptic Church. In simultaneously locating the impulse to reform in an internal dynamic within Coptic history and society and in the wider social change in the largely Muslim society of Egypt, Hasan provides a comprehensive and accessible history of the modern Coptic Church and its role in Egyptian society. In that historical interpretation, Hasan embeds a subtle and intriguing contribution to the larger, more general literature on religion in the modern world--a literature that has too long ignored the experience of the Christian communities of the Middle East. This book deserves a wide audience, not only among readers who want to understand modern Egypt but those who want to comprehend the many ways in which religious beliefs and institutions respond to modernity."--Lisa Anderson, Columbia University
... refreshingly different from studies written by partisan Christian researchers ... provides a penetrating and colourful account of how the revival in the Coptic Church happened ... an inspiring story that makes an enjoyable, as well as an informative, book.
This is an impressive attempt to analyse relations between Copts and Muslims in modern Egypt and the author's personal probity and sincerity are evident throughout ... This is a challenging book and a necessary read for anyone who wishes to understand today's Coptic Church within the framework of Egyptian national life. The author has presented her material skillfully in order to support her thesis.
What makes this book so readable is the fascinating anecdotal and firsthand material based on Hasan's fieldwork ... With this volume, Hasan offers a detailed, and valuable, study of at least part of the modern Coptic ethos.
"Hasan's candid and well-researched work is an important contribution to understanding the church in today's Egypt."-- International Bulletin of Missionary Research"Hasan once again explores the complexities of religion and modernity, this time through a thorough and provocative examination of the twentieth century reform movement within the Egyptian Coptic Church. In simultaneously locating the impulse to reform in an internal dynamic within Coptic history and society and in the wider social change in the largely Muslim society of Egypt, Hasan provides a comprehensive and accessible history of the modern Coptic Churchand its role in Egyptian society. In that historical interpretation, Hasan embeds a subtle and intriguing contribution to the larger, more general literature on religion in the modern world--a literature that has too long ignored the experience of the Christian communities of the Middle East. This bookdeserves a wide audience, not only among readers who want to understand modern Egypt but those who want to comprehend the many ways in which religious beliefs and institutions respond to modernity."--Lisa Anderson, Columbia University"Hasan provides the best possible introduction to the experience of religious minorities in the contemporary Arab world: an insightful and illuminating analysis of the internal politics of the Coptic community in Egypt. The reconstruction of Coptic identity over the last half century, in response to growing Islamic hostility, makes a fascinating story."--Michael Walzer, Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2004
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is the first full study of Coptic Christians in contemporary Egypt. The author charts the Coptic resurgence of the 1940s & 1950s, & latterly, how the leaders of the Coptic Church have increasingly assumed the secular leadership of their community.
Long Description
The Copts of Egypt are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. In recent years they have often been victims of persecution and violence at the hands of the Muslim majority. This volume is the first full study of Coptic Christians in contemporary Egypt. Hasan begins by looking at how the Coptic generation of the 1940s and 1950s remembered, recovered, and invented the ancient history of Christianity in Egypt in order to weld the Copts into a unified nation. The book thenfocuses on the period beginning with the consecration of Pope Shenuda in 1971. During this revival period the church took over much of the responsibility for the welfare of the Coptic community. The leaders of the revival, she shows, have nurtured a potent and distinctive religious culture with a senseof communal pride and identity despite its hostile surrounding environment.
Main Description
The Copts of Egypt are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. In recent years they have often figured in the news as victims of bloody attacks by Islamic militants. Christians versus Muslims in Modern Egypt is the first study of Christian identity politics in contemporary Egypt. S.S. Hasan begins by looking at how the Coptic generation of the 1940s and 1950s remembered, recovered, and imagined the ancient history of Christianity in Egypt in order to weld the Copts into a unified nation, resistant to the growing encroachments of Islam. She argues that this interpretation of history, in which Egyptian martyrs figure prominently, made possible the rebirth of the Coptic church and community-in much the same way as the preservation of Hebrew and the historical memory of Jewish tribulations served the purpose of national reconstruction of the state of Israel. The bulk of the book focuses on the period beginning with the consecration of Pope Shenuda in 1971. Drawing on extensive interviews with church leaders, clergy, and others Hasan finds that during this period the responsibilities of the church for the welfare of the Coptic community grew immeasurably. Church leaders arrogated to themselves the exclusive right to the political representation of their community and reconceived their role from the narrow care of souls to the promotion of economic and cultural efflorescence of the entire Coptic community. The leaders of this revival, she shows, have nurtured a potent and distinctive religious culture with a sense of communal pride and identity in an environment in which they were increasingly exposed to discrimination and outright hostility.
Main Description
The Copts of Egypt are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. In recent years they have often figured in the news as victims of bloody attacks by Islamic militants. Christians versus Muslims in Modern Egypt is the first study of Christian identity politics in contemporary Egypt. S.S. Hasan begins by looking at how the Coptic generation of the 1940s and 1950s remembered, recovered, and imagined the ancient history of Christianity in Egypt in order to weld theCopts into a unified nation, resistant to the growing encroachments of Islam. She argues that this interpretation of history, in which Egyptian martyrs figure prominently, made possible the rebirth of the Coptic church and community-in much the same way as the preservation of Hebrew and thehistorical memory of Jewish tribulations served the purpose of national reconstruction of the state of Israel. The bulk of the book focuses on the period beginning with the consecration of Pope Shenuda in 1971. Drawing on extensive interviews with church leaders, clergy, and others Hasan finds that during this period the responsibilities of the church for the welfare of the Coptic community grewimmeasurably. Church leaders arrogated to themselves the exclusive right to the political representation of their community and reconceived their role from the narrow care of souls to the promotion of economic and cultural efflorescence of the entire Coptic community. The leaders of this revival,she shows, have nurtured a potent and distinctive religious culture with a sense of communal pride and identity in an environment in which they were increasingly exposed to discrimination and outright hostility.
Main Description
The Copts of Egypt are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. In recent years they have often figured in the news as victims of bloody attacks by Islamic militants. Christians versus Muslims in Modern Egyptis the first study of Christian identity politics in contemporary Egypt. S.S. Hasan begins by looking at how the Coptic generation of the 1940s and 1950s remembered, recovered, and imagined the ancient history of Christianity in Egypt in order to weld the Copts into a unified nation, resistant to the growing encroachments of Islam. She argues that this interpretation of history, in which Egyptian martyrs figure prominently, made possible the rebirth of the Coptic church and community-in much the same way as the preservation of Hebrew and the historical memory of Jewish tribulations served the purpose of national reconstruction of the state of Israel. The bulk of the book focuses on the period beginning with the consecration of Pope Shenuda in 1971. Drawing on extensive interviews with church leaders, clergy, and others Hasan finds that during this period the responsibilities of the church for the welfare of the Coptic community grew immeasurably. Church leaders arrogated to themselves the exclusive right to the political representation of their community and reconceived their role from the narrow care of souls to the promotion of economic and cultural efflorescence of the entire Coptic community. The leaders of this revival, she shows, have nurtured a potent and distinctive religious culture with a sense of communal pride and identity in an environment in which they were increasingly exposed to discrimination and outright hostility.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Glossaryp. xv
Christians versus Muslims in Modern Egyptp. 2
Introductionp. 3
The Historical Backgroundp. 14
Prologue: The "True Egyptians"p. 17
When Egypt Was Christianp. 23
The Dawn of a New Erap. 31
The Vanished Dreamp. 43
The Sunday School Movementp. 54
Rebels and Saintsp. 57
Roots and Branchesp. 71
The Warring Founding Fathersp. 85
The Church as Political Spokesmanp. 101
Dealing with the Muslim Statep. 103
The Church as Socioeconomic Entrepreneurp. 121
Centralizing the Church Administrationp. 123
Arsanios, a Model Bishopp. 137
The Recruitment of Bishopsp. 153
The Church as Cultural Agentp. 167
Islam Is the Solutionp. 169
Bishop Moses and the Socialization of the Youngp. 183
The Politics of Identityp. 199
Coptic Cultural Nationalismp. 201
The Church as Battlegroundp. 209
The Church as Amphitheaterp. 221
Three Questions for the Twenty-First Centuryp. 229
Toward a More Democratic Church?p. 231
Toward the Empowerment of Women?p. 251
Conclusion: Toward a New Basis for National Equality?p. 257
Notesp. 267
Select Bibliographyp. 291
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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