Coptic Language and Reading Group
This group introduces participants to Sahidic Coptic, the language spoken and written by ancient Egyptians under the Roman empire and the time of Christianization. The group meets every Wednesday at 16:00 in the Faculty of Theology, room 309.
Coptic is an especially important language for students of ancient Christianity since so many non-canonical books survive only in Coptic —- for example, the famous Gospels of Thomas, Mary, Philip, and Judas Iscariot, apocalypses of Peter and Paul, as well as texts that claim to be the “secret books” of James and John. These books —- and more -— are increasingly shedding light on the vast diversity of theological and social perspectives held by ancient Christians, and therefore complement the picture of the early Church handed down to us from the ecclesiastical Fathers. After learning the fundamentals of the Coptic language, the group will read a selection of Coptic texts, discussing their historical context and theological views.
The group is led by Dr. Lance Jenott, a post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Theology who specializes in New Testament interpretation, ancient Christianity, and Coptic texts. Meeting time is Wednesday at 16:00 in the Faculty of Theology, room 309. The grammar book used is Thomas O. Lambdin, Introduction to Sahidic Coptic (Mercer University Press, 1983). Interested participants should email Dr. Jenott, or better yet, just come.