Progress of Coptic studies in Claremont in 2009
- Thanks to Divine Providence, significant progress has occurred in Coptic studies at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) School of Religion during 2009. Here is a summary:
1) The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia has started to take root. The goal is to develop an updated and continuously expanding web-based version of the Coptic Encyclopedia, which CGU acquired the right to do recently. One objective is to promote Coptic studies worldwide.
2) MA and PhD students: Dr. Gawdat Gabra, Visiting Professor of Coptic Studies at CGU, attracted high caliber students to specialize in Coptology. The career of each one of them is a great reward for our investment of effort and funds. Several students are at different stages of their research. Read one student's view of the future of Coptology:
3) First Coptic graduate: Sarah Mehany became the first Copt to graduate from this program when she received her MA in May 2009. She took several courses with Dr. Gabra, who also supervised her MA thesis on “The Monastic Pachomian Rules Alive Today in Coptic Convents.” She enrolled in the PhD program and plans to continue her research in Coptology.
4) Courses taught by Dr. Gabra during the last three years include Coptic Art and Archeology, Coptic Monasticism, Coptic New/Old Testament and Liturgy, Coptic Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Coptic Hagiography, Egypt's Religious Heritage and Coptic Literature. See course descriptions at: http://www.cgu.edu/pages/6860.asp.
5) Public lecture series on Coptic topics has been well attended by faculty, students, Claremont residents and the Coptic community. His Grace Bishop Youssef was guest speaker on 1 Dec 09 and Prof. Nelly van Doorn-Harder on 22 March 09. See announcements at: http://www.cgu.edu/pages/5979.asp and an article at: http://www.stshenouda.com/AcademicPGM/MaryanneW26-July-2009.pdf.
6) Coptic liturgical music: Efforts to introduce its study has started, including performances by the Ecclesiastical Choirs of the Diocese of Los Angeles at three of the public lectures.
7) Academic tour of Coptic Egypt led by Dr. Gabra. Deans, faculty and students participated in January 2008 and 2009. The tours were so successful that it will repeat in January 2010.
This progress was made possible by the generous contributions of many who offered prayers, efforts and funds. St. Shenouda Coptic Society signed a pledge of $26,000 payable by 15 Jan 2010 for partial coverage of the above expenses. In addition, funds are needed for two student scholarships and creating the web-based Coptic Encyclopedia.
To enable this successful program to continue, please send your tax-deductible contribution to: St. Shenouda Coptic Society, 1701 S. Wooster Street, LA, CA 90035. Write in the memo: Coptic Studies at CGU.
Many employers offer matched funds for donations to educational institutions. Please contact us to assist you with the paper work.
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