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CEAC Blog Archive: egypt

Cyril of Alexandria

Were the Church Fathers Really Africans?

by Joel Elowsky

One of the objections we most often hear, especially from our compatriots in the West—but also from many Africans—is that these early African fathers we are studying are not African. They are Greek, they are Roman, but not African—as if these terms were mutually exclusive. While I lay no claim to being a scholar of comparative cultural studies or any of the other disciplines mentioned above—I’m primarily a theologian and exegete—it nonetheless seems to me that this would be akin to saying that someone like St. Patrick who lived in Ireland was not Irish because he wrote and thought in

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The Roots of Nubian Christianity

The Roots of Nubian Christianity Run Deep and Early

by Joel Elowsky

Salim Faraji. The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2012.

Salim Faraji begins his exploration of the roots of Nubian Christianity with a quote from Vol. 1 of Michael Botwinick’s, Africa in Antiquity:
“How can we fail to be moved by the dramatic course of this [Nubian] civilization? It is ironic that it is barely a pinprick on contemporary consciousness. We speak, after all, not of a civilization that had a brief moment. Nubia flourishes more than five hundred years before the building of the great pyramids of Egypt and continues

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Thomas Oden

Core Hypothesis of Center for Early African Christianity

by Joel Elowsky with Thomas Oden

When the CEAC was first organized, one of the first issues we struggled with was whether or not we were needed or not. We knew that that were very talented scholars and church leaders in Africa who would be capable of carrying on the work we were proposing.

We decided to hold a consultation in 2008 to consult with these scholars and church leaders. We invited key leaders from all different parts of Africa and from many different denominations, including Coptic, Ethiopian, Catholics, Evangelicals, etc., both scholars and church leaders. Thomas Oden, the Director of the Center, presented the following core

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Coptic Gospel of John

The Coptic Textual Tradition for the Gospel of John

by Joel Elowsky

For those interested in textual criticism, I was recently made aware of a new book that explores the coptic tradition of translation around the Gospel of John. Here is the write-up:

Askeland, Christian

John's Gospel

The Coptic Translations of its Greek Text

Series:Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung 44

89,95 € / $126.00*

xiv, 289 pages

ISBN:  978-3-11-028143-9


Aims and Scope


This monograph explores the history of the Coptic tradition of John’s gospel, considering when these ancient Egyptian witnesses are profitable for determining the earliest readings of their Greek sourcetext . The standard critical edition of the Greek New Testament cites the Coptic versions no fewer than 1,000 times in John’s

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St. Catharines Lbrary

St. Catharines Monastery Going Digital

by Joel Elowsky

The Monastery at St. Catharines is going digital, digitizing its MSS for use by scholars. You can follow the link below to read the story in Egypt Independent.

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Coptic Announcement on Same Sex Civil Marriage

by Joel Elowsky

I received the following press release from our friend Bp Angaelos in Britain concerning the Coptic church's stance on same sex marriage that is under discussion in Britain:

In response to the Government Equalities Office Consultation, The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom has stated that it cannot support the proposal relating to same-sex civil marriage, listing the following items for careful consideration: 

  1. While this current Consultation attempts to reassure by claiming that “the Government does not propose to open up religious marriage to same-sex couples”, the term ‘marriage’ in itself is one that has been utilised within a religious context
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Origen the African

New Discovery of Origen Psalms Commentary in Greek

by Joel Elowsky

Previously undiscovered homilies in Greek of the African commentator Origen on  Psalm 36 were recently discovered in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.  Check out the link that announces the discovery:

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St. Cyril of Alexandria

Resurrection and the Body - Cyril of Alexandria:

by Joel Elowsky

By his unexpected entry through closed doors Christ proved once more that by nature he was God and also that he was none other than the one who had lived among them. By showing his wounded side and the marks of the nails, he convinced us beyond a doubt that he had raised the temple of his body, the very body that had hung upon the cross. He restored that body which he had worn, destroying death’s power over all flesh, for as God, he was life itself. Why would he need to show them his hands and side if,

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Mourning the Loss of Pope Shenouda III

by Joel Elowsky

We were recently informed of the death of our friend, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. Pope Shenouda, Pope of Alexandria and 117th Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, was a champion of the African church in Egypt during a time of repressive policies against the Coptic minority. More recently, during this time of political upheaval with the Arab Spring, the Pope remained a stalwart witness to the central the message of Jesus Christ as the only solid rock on which our faith can be built. He also was a pope for the people, making himself available each week to

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