APOCRYPHA: Storyworlds in Transition
The ERC-financed project Storyworlds in Transition: Coptic Apocrypha in Changing Contexts in the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods (APOCRYPHA) constitutes the first systematic study of Coptic apocrypha covering the entire timespan of Coptic literary production.
This project studies Coptic apocrypha as transnarrative, transmedial, and transauthorial products of Egyptian, especially monastic, Christianity. The project approaches the material using theories and methods inspired by a combination of material philology, literary and media studies perspectives, and cognitive science. In contrast with common and traditional approaches to apocrypha, this project treats Coptic apocrypha, without chronological boundaries, as major contributors to dynamic and ongoing processes of world-building, extending and developing the Christian storyworld in ways that were profoundly coupled with, and which had important ramifications for, the beliefs and practices of Egyptian Christians over a thousand-year period stretching from late antique and Byzantine times until the early Islamic period, thus spanning the entire period of Coptic literary production.
This project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 865971 (ERC Consolidator Grant 2019).