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Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity [Paperback]

By Otto F. A. Meinardus (Author)
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Item description for Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity by Otto F. A. Meinardus...

Christianity arrived early in Egypt, brought according to tradition by Saint Mark the Evangelist, who became the first patriarch of Alexandria. The Coptic Orthodox Church has flourished ever since, with millions of adherents both in Egypt and in Coptic communities around the world. Since its split from the Byzantine Church in 451, the Coptic Church has proudly maintained its early traditions, and influence from outside has been minimal: the liturgy is still sung to unique rhythms in Coptic, a late stage of the same ancient Egyptian language that is inscribed in hieroglyphs on temple walls and papyri. Dr. Otto Meinardus, a leading authority on the history of the Coptic Church, here revises, updates, and combines his renowned studies Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern (The American University in Cairo Press, 1965, 1977) and Christian Egypt, Faith and Life (The American University in Cairo Press, 1970) into a new, definitive, one-volume history for the Millennium, surveying the twenty centuries of existence of one of the oldest churches in the world.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2002
Publisher   American University in Cairo Press
ISBN  9774247574  
ISBN13  9789774247576  

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More About Otto F. A. Meinardus

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Dr. Otto F. A. Meinardus is the author of The Holy Family in Egypt (The American University in Cairo Press, 1986), Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Deserts (The American University in Cairo Press, 1989), and numerous other publications on the history of Christianity in Egypt and the Near East.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Egypt
3Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Egypt
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Orthodoxy
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity?

A Modern Classic on Coptic Orthodoxy  Jan 5, 2008
This book, though small in size, is enormous in the breadth of information on the Coptic Orthodox Church it offers. I would not recommend this book as a final step in anyone's journey to knowledge of the ancient Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, but it is an excellent beginning or median reference work that is sure to fill in missing gaps and tie concepts together. I do, however, agree with those who fault the binding for being weak; if you use this book frequently, prepare to have it rebound.
Catalog of facts about Coptic churches around the world  Sep 9, 2007
This book is very good if you're looking for a collection of information about particular churches, where they are, who leads them and what goes on at each locale. It is not so much a story as a compilation of details; it's been called an encyclopedia, and I agree with that assessment. So, I think it would appeal more to someone looking for a reference guide than a biographical account. There are other books by this author which fit that description. This may not be the first book by Meniardus I'd put on my shelf, but it's still worth reading.
Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity  Jan 6, 2007
The book was very interesting and well written. What Christians believed about pass events certainly does vary.
A Must for All Church Scholars  Jun 19, 2005
As the other reviewers said, this is absolutely a foundational compendium, worth much for its charts and appendices, alone, and for the fact that it's rather up to date (originally published in '99 and updated in '02).

A word of warning -- the binding is very poorly done on this trade paperback and every page falls out as you turn it, so the book will have to be rebound, probably spiral, for the repeated reference use that it will get.
Encyclopedic Review of Two Millenia of Faith  Jul 8, 2004
"This fine new compendium of Coptic history and life, from the greatly admired scholar Professor Otto Meinardus, will immediately take its place as the one essential Coptic Orthodox desktop reference book in English." Dr. J. Watson, Coptic Church Review, vol. 21, no. 2, summer 2000

Coptic Christianity:
In the second century Christianity began to spread to the rural areas, from Alexandria. The Gospel translations into Sahidic, and Buhairic Coptic, the major two local dialects, enhanced the spread of Christianity in mainland Egypt. The monastic desert movement, started in the 3rd century, during Roman persecutions, by St. Anthony in the North and St. Pachomius in upper Egypt in early 4th century, that was carried by John Cassian to the Gaul, from where monasticism spread throughout the Christian world.
The Church of Alexandria, known later as the Coptic (Egyptian) Church lead the Christians and defended Orthodoxy in theological dispute about the nature of Christ in the 4th & 5th centuries. Coptic Christians, lay and monastic, were joined by miaphysite Syrians against the decisions of the council of Chalcedon.

Author, Otto Meinardus:
Professor Meinardus is a well known member of the German Archaeological Society, and a Coptic expert. He spent over forty years in Egypt, taught at the American University in Cairo, and wrote more than ten books on various Coptic issues (hard and software). The Coptic Church Review, American Patristic Quarterly introduced him as; "The Revd. Dr. Otto Meinardus, who has contributed frequently to this journal, is an internationally known Coptologist who has written extensively on the Coptic and Oriental Churches." He was described by the eminent Coptologist John Watson (Among the Copts) as; "probably the greatest individual European contributor to Coptic studies in the last century".

Two Millenia of Faith:
In a systematic exposition, the expert author after a concise introduction elaborates on 'Coptic Software,' The Coptic church: Its history, Tradition, Theology, and Structure. He tackles Coptic traditions about the Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, St. Mark and founding of the Church in Egypt, The Theological contribution of Alexandria, the Canons of the Coptic Church, History of Coptic theology, after Chalcedon, The Copts from 7th to 20th century. He masterfully describes 'Folk Coptic Religion,' Mulid ( Popular Festival), healing and Mystics. He end this part with the Coptic Diaspora, and African mission.

Coptic Churches and Monasteries:
Dr. Meinardus unparalleled expertise is evident in this second part, about which he wrote several books. He starts from early Christianity in Alxandria and utilizes 130 pages to take you in an amazing tour in space and time with plates of 24 photos.

Wonderful Appendices:
A. Marks of identification: Tattoos and Names
B. Patriarchs of the Coptic Church & Rulers of Egypt
C. Language, architecture, and Calendar
D. Feasts & Relics of the Coptic Saints


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