Five College Consortium

Before the "National Minority": Coptic Christians and a World of Relationships

Thu, Feb 9 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Herter Hall 601

Coptic Christianity, according to prevailing wisdom, is an ancient Christian tradition that is indigenous to Egypt. The Coptic Church is sometimes even called the "Egyptian Church," while the bulk of its followers are identified collectively as a "minority community" within apredominantly Muslim national space. Such assessments presuppose a host of institutional, territorial and communal objects that belong to the conceptual universe of modern nation-states. Here, we consider strategies for breaking free from these limiting frames, and contemplate a "world of relationships" that existed long before boundaries were conjured isolating Copts from Muslims, "Egypt" from "Ethiopia" and the "Middle East" from "Africa.”

UMass Amherst
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