Forthcoming: Shenoute and the Bible, International Conference, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, 17–21 May 2016


Shenoute and the Bible
International Conference
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
17–21 May 2016

sponsored by:

2in conjunction with:

Critical Edition of the Works of Shenoute, Annual Meeting (“Shenoute 2016”)


Tagungszentrum an der Sternwarte, Geismar Landstr. 12, 37083 Göttingen, Meeting Room 3 (except where noted otherwise in the program, or as announced during the meeting)

Tuesday 17 May
• Heike Behlmer: Welcome, introductions, logistics
• Stephen Emmel: Meeting program, progress report
• Progress on the Critical Edition of the Works of Shenoute. Presentations by Tito Orlandi, Bentley Layton, Heike Behlmer, Frederik Wisse, Anne Boud’hors, David Brakke, and Zlatko Pleše

• Stephen Emmel: Workshop on the critical editions and the translations of Shenoute’s
works (1st and initial session)

18.00–20.00 (Tagungszentrum, Meeting Room 1, “Großer Seminarraum”):
Showcase: Window onto Egyptian Monasticism
Schenute: Klostervorsteher und bedeutender koptischer Schriftsteller des 4./5. Jh. –
Shenoute: 4th/5th century abbot and eminent Coptic writer
Welcome address by the Sprecher des Sonderforschungsbereichs “Bildung und Religion”, Peter Gemeinhardt, Professor of Church History at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
• Stephen Emmel: “Schenute (ca. 348–465): koptischer Mönch, Klostervorsteher,
• Bentley Layton: “The Structure of Monastic Life in Shenoute’s Monastery”
• Alin Suciu: “The Library of Shenoute’s Monastery: Center of Monastic Knowledge and
• Frederik Wisse: “Shenoute and the Bible”

Wednesday 18 May
• Ariel Shisha-Halevy: “On Puns, Alliteration and Paronomasy in Shenoute”
• David Brakke: “Making Shenoute an Author: Christian Literature in the Age of Lists”
14.00–16.00 (Lagarde-Haus, Friedländer Weg 11):
• Jürgen Horn: “Shenoute’s Importance in the History of Research on the Coptic Septuagint”
• Frank Feder et al., Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen: Presentation of the project “Digitale Gesamtedition und Übersetzung des koptisch-sahidischen Alten Testaments”
16:30-18:30 (Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, Historisches Gebäude, Papendiek 14):
• Visit to the manuscript collection of the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen: codices brought by Heinrich Brugsch from Wadi Natrun in 1870

Thursday 19 May
• Sebastian Richter: “Recent Developments and Achievements of the ‘Database and Dictionary of Greek Loanwords in Coptic’ Project”
• Anne Boud’hors: “Some Thoughts about the Category of Pseudo-Shenoutean Texts”
• Frederik Wisse: “Canon 7, work 8, O Man: Introduction, Text, and Translation”

• Sebastian Richter: “A Fragment of an (Anti?-)Origenist Dialogue on a 4th/5th-Century Papyrus Leaf from the Papyrus Collection of the Leipzig University Library”
• Stephen Emmel: Workshop on the critical editions and the translations of Shenoute’s works (2nd session)
18.00–21.00 (Hörsaal Theologicum T01):
• Ringvorlesung “Imaginiert und real, erschaut und erdacht: Christen in Ägypten und literarische Werke von und zu ihnen”
Martin Tamcke: “Von ‘Wir begannen, die Anachoreten in einem anderen Licht zu sehen’ zu ‘Jedermann braucht etwas Wüste’, Erhart Kästners (1904–1974) Zeltbuch von
Tumilat und die Kopten” (public lecture at 18.15)
followed by (from appr. 19.30: Foyer of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Zentrum, Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14)
• Reception; opportunity to visit the Seminar für Ägyptologie und Koptologie (Please RSVP by May 9 to:

Friday 20 May
Presentations by members of Göttingen projects on Shenoute and the Bible (SFB 1136 “Bildung und Religion” Teilprojekt B 05; KELLIA “Koptische/Coptic Electronic Language and Literature International Alliance”; “Digitale Gesamtedition und Übersetzung des koptisch-sahidischen Alten Testaments”)

• Uwe Sikora: Survey and recommendations on digital metadata standards, with particular regard to (Coptic) manuscripts and other objects
• So Miyagawa and Heike Behlmer: Processing non-biblical texts (e.g. Besa and Shenoute) for the Old Testament Virtual Reading Room and using text re-use software for detecting and describing (biblical) intertextuality
• Kirill Bulert and So Miyagawa: Optical character recognition (OCR) software for digitizing Coptic
• Diliana Atanassova: The White Monastery typika

• Stephen Emmel: Workshop on the critical editions and the translations of Shenoute’s works (3rd session)

Saturday 21 May
• Stephen Emmel: Workshop on the critical editions and the translations of Shenoute’s works (4th and final session)
• Heike Behlmer: Closing remarks and farewells

Dr Diliana Atanassova, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen
Prof. Heike Behlmer, Universität Göttingen
Dr Anne Boud’hors, CNRS, Paris
Prof. David Brakke, Ohio State University, Columbus
Kirill Bulert, MPI für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen
Prof. Stephen Emmel, Universität Münster
Dr Frank Feder, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen
Dr Jürgen Horn, Hamburg
Prof. em. Bentley Layton, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
So Miyagawa, Universität Göttingen (SFB 1136)
Prof. em. Tito Orlandi, Rome/Hamburg
Prof. Zlatko Pleše, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Prof. em. Ariel Shisha-Halevy, Toronto
Prof. Tonio Sebastian Richter, Freie Universität Berlin
Uwe Sikora, Universität Göttingen
Dr Alin Suciu, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen
Prof. em. Frederik Wisse, Coldstream, British Columbia

Seminar für Ägyptologie und Koptologie, Universität Göttingen, Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14, 37073 Göttingen
Ph.: +49 551 3924400 Email:

Download the programme as PDF.

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Forthcoming: Window onto Egyptian monasticism. Shenoute: 4th/5th century abbot and eminent Coptic writer

Dienstag, 17.5. 2016 um 18 Uhr im Tagungszentrum an der Sternwarte, Raum 1 – Großer Seminarraum


Schenute: Klostervorsteher und bedeutender koptischer Schriftsteller des 4./5. Jh.   –   Shenoute: 4th/5th century abbot and eminent Coptic writer

a.   Stephen Emmel: “Schenute (ca. 348–465): koptischer Mönch, Klostervorsteher, Schriftsteller”

b.   Bentley Layton: “The Structure of Monastic Life in Shenoute’s Monastery”

c.   Alin Suciu: “The Library of Shenoute’s Monastery: Center of Monastic Knowledge and Culture”

d.   Frederik Wisse: “Shenoute and the Bible”

poster_showcase_shenoutePoster: Julien Delhez & So Miyagawa

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Ewa Wipszycka, The Alexandrian Church. People and Institutions

New book by one of the greatest historians of the Egyptian church:

The Raphael Taubenschlag Foundation, Department of Papyrology of Warsaw University and Chair of Roman Law and the Law of Antiquity of Warsaw University are pleased to announce the release of The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, Supplement XXV

Ewa Wipszycka, The Alexandrian Church. People and Institutions

ISBN 978-8393842544, hardcover, 500 pp, maps and charts. Price: 93 EUR; May & June special 20% discount: 74,4 EUR

… a description of the hierarchical Church, its framework and machinery. The word ‘description’ is somehow too narrow to express what I would like to present, for my ambition is to show how the ecclesiastical institutions functioned. What I aim at is a picture of the Church ‘in motion’. I will try to discover the mechanisms of cooperation between the three levels of the hierarchic pyramid: the patriarch and his curia, the bishops, and the remaining clergy subordinate to the latter.
I believe that I am able to sketch (at least in part) the mentality of the members of hierarchical Church, to reconstruct the procedure of appointment of bishops and to give an account of the creation of the network of churches.
(…) My intellectual adventure with the history of the Church began with research on ecclesiastical economy, incomes and the manner of their administration, expenditures, and the material status of the clergy. The choice of these subjects was absolutely natural to me, since my academic education had provided me with a solid background for tackling such issues; I had also learnt much while preparing my doctoral dissertation on the textile industry of Roman Egypt. In spite of having enough reasons to find the results of my previous research satisfactory, I did not want to explore the subject any farther. It was late antique Egypt that captivated me – a fascination I owe to my French papyrology teacher, Roger Rémondon. Within this realm I found the Church and monasticism particularly intriguing.
(from the Preface)

Table of contents
Preface . 3
Chapter One . 9
Church historians – 10. Historians of the Alexandrian Church – 22. Normative texts – 27.
Church archives of documents on papyrus – 34 (The archive of Abraham – 34. The archive of Pisentius – 37).
Chapter Two
The origins of monarchic episcopate in Egypt . 43
The bishops of Alexandria – 43. The bishops of Egypt – 60.
Chapter Three
The Great Persecution in Egypt: new sources, new hypotheses . 75
New sources – 75. The beginnings of the Great Persecution: an attempt at a reconstruction -76. The number of victims of the Great Persecution in Egypt – 92. Appendix
A: Chronology of the history of Christian Egypt in the times of the Tetrarchy and Constantine – 95. Appendix B: Victims of persecutions in Egypt according to Eusebius – 98. Appendix C: On the governor’s jurisdiction during the Great Persecution in Egypt – 99.
Chapter Four
The institutional church of Egypt AD 325-700: an overview . 107
Chapter Five
The episcopal elections . 127
Introduction – 127. The elections of bishops in the Egyptian chora – 129. The elections of
bishops in the Pentapolis – 146. The elections of the patriarch and their rules – 149. Conflictual elections of patriarchs -154.
Chapter Six
Constantine’s policy towards the church. The subvention for clergy, church-building programme, fiscal privileges . 171
Chapter Seven
The payroll of the clergy . 195
Chapter Eight
The economy of the Alexandrian patriarchate in the Lives of John the Almsgiver . 209
Chapter Nine
The people of the Alexandrian patriarch . 237
Chapter Ten
The patriarch of Alexandria and his bishops . 271
Chapter Eleven
The bishop and his clergy . 305
The ordination of clergy – 308. Requirements concerning the members of the clergy – 321. Means of disciplinary punishment at the bishop’s disposal – 324. The clerics’ preparation to fulfil their liturgical functions – 325. What do we know and what do we not know about the  liturgical service? – 327. The hierarchical order in the clergy – 330. Appendix A: Chosen examples of churches in Egyptian cities, towns, and villages – 335. Appendix B: Lighting of
the churches’ interior (by Tomasz Górecki) – 343.
Chapter Twelve
The bishop’s philanthropic activity . 349
Chapter Thirteen
The church treasures of Byzantine Egypt . 365
Chapter Fourteen
Churches in a city: The case of Ptolemais in Cyrenaica . 377
Character of the basilicas of Ptolemais and interpretation of their location in the city – 380. Buildings associated with the churches – 388.
Final remarks . 415
Alexandrian bishops from the patriarchate of Demetrius to the end of the seventh century . 439
Bibliography . 441
Indices . 467

JJP Suppl. xxv (Wipszycka) okladka-kopia

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Internship – Digital Edition and Translation of the Coptic Old Testament

Akademie Göttingen

The Digital Edition and Translation of the Coptic Old Testament at the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen is dedicated to digitally describe, edit and analyse the transmission of the Coptic Old Testament with a focus on the Sahidic tradition. The long-term project has an opening for a (paid) internship, to be filled at the earliest possible date. This internship will give the successful applicant the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge about the Biblical tradition in Coptic and to receive further hands-on training in editorial methods, manuscript studies and digital humanities, as applied to the Coptic Bible and Coptic literature.

The intern will commit to working 30 hrs per week in a variety of tasks, which will depend on his or her experience and interests and the current Old Testament project focus. If pursuing a research project within the wider field of the Coptic Bible the intern will be able to dedicate up to 50% of this time to his or her own research.

Prerequisites are a degree in Coptic Studies or a project-related field (Egyptology, Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Digital Humanities or similar) and a working knowledge of Coptic. Other language skills (in particular in Ancient Greek) are welcomed.

The appointment is for one year, with a possibility for an extension. It is available either as a part-time employment (internship) contract or as a scholarship contract. Details will be provided upon request.

Please direct enquiries and (electronic) applications (short CV, digital copies of diplomas or transcripts and letter of motivation) by May 15, 2016 to Prof. Heike Behlmer (hbehlme [at] or Dr Frank Feder (ffeder [at]

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IACS Awards for Academic Excellence 2016: Deadline Extended

Since earlier notices appear to have escaped the attention of many of our members, the IACS Board has decided to extend the deadline for submitting candidacies for the IACS Awards for Academic Excellence until the middle of May. Therefore, competition is still open for awards to be given at the Eleventh International Congress of Coptic Studies, to be held in Claremont, California (U.S.A.), 25–30 July 2016. Again the IACS will award two prizes, one for the best M.A. thesis and a second one for the best Ph.D. dissertation, both written in the field of Coptic studies. Winners will receive a certificate and an amount of € 2,000 (Ph.D.) or an amount of € 1,000 (M.A.).

Eligible theses and dissertations should make a significant scholarly contribution in the field of Coptic studies in the widest possible acceptation, in accordance with the objectives of the IACS. Eligible for the current competition will be M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations accepted by any recognized academic institution in the four-year period 2012 through 2015. By “acceptance” is meant the date of the formal approval of the thesis/dissertation by the responsible faculty; it does not mean the date of submission or the date on which the resulting degree was ceremonially conferred (as at a graduation ceremony).

Competitors for the prizes are requested to submit a .pdf version of their thesis/dissertation before 15 May 2016 to the President-Elect of the IACS, Prof. David Brakke, at (it is not necessary to submit also a printed copy). Submissions should mention clearly the full name and contact information of the author of the thesis/dissertation, and they should be accompanied by a copy of the diploma (or other proof that the thesis/dissertation has been formally accepted by a recognized academic institution) and a brief letter of recommendation from a thesis/dissertation supervisor. The thesis/dissertation may be written in any of the four “congress languages” recognized by the IACS (English, French, German, Italian). Submissions will be judged for clarity and correctness of expression, conceptual and methodological adequacy, originality, as well as general quality and interest; for Ph.D. dissertations, also methodological innovation will be a criterion. The jury will consist of the Board of the IACS, which may call in specialist advice if necessary.

The jury will hold its deliberations immediately before the Eleventh International Congress of Coptic Studies, and the awards will be announced during the opening session of the Congress. (Note that this is a change in procedure over against that of 2012, when the awards were announced in the middle of the week of the Congress.) Winners do not need to be in attendance at the Congress in order to receive their award; a winner who is absent will be contacted by the IACS Secretary either during the Congress or immediately thereafter.

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Guest Post: Felix Albrecht – Critical Edition of Epiphanius, De xii gemmis (CPG 3748)

My colleague, Felix Albrecht, announces that he prepares the critical edition of the Greek fragments of Epiphanius’ De xii gemmis.

The work De duodecim gemmis (Περὶ τῶν δώδεκα λίθων) of Epiphanius of Salamis is an exegetical treatise on the twelve gemstones on the High Priest’s breastplate (Ex 28:17–20 par. 39:10–13). It is, in fact, the oldest Christian book on gemstones. Epiphanius deals with the stones according to their appearance and their healing powers, as well as their attribution to the twelve tribes from a Christian point of view. Only extracts of this work are preserved in Greek. Nonetheless, there is an Old Georgian translation, parts of a Latin translation, parts of an Armenian version, as well as Coptic fragments, an extract in Syriac, and tradition in Arabic.

For over ten years I have been focusing study on this intriguing work of Epiphanius. I have been able to collect all the Greek fragments, and am preparing a critical edition of the Greek text, including a retroversion into Greek, based on all extant tradition and versions.

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Abstract of my paper for the 11th International Coptic Congress

At the Coptic congress, which this year will be held in Claremont, California, I will speak about the discovery of Melito of Sardes’ homily on the baptism of Christ in a Sahidic papyrus manuscript. My paper is entitled “Recovering a Hitherto Lost Patristic Text: Greek and Coptic Vestiges of Melito of Sardes’ De Baptismo.” Here is the abstract:

“In this paper, I will argue that a fragmentary Sahidic papyrus manuscript featuring a homily on the baptism of Christ can be identified as Melito of Sardes’ De Baptismo. This early Christian writing has been considered to be lost with the sole exception of a quotation preserved in a Greek catena collection. In the first part of the paper, I will show that the only known Greek fragment of Melito’s De Baptismo finds a parallel in a Sahidic papyrus manuscript. In the second part, I will analyze the Coptic text and I will show that a number of similarities with the other works of Melito strengthen the hypothesis that the fragmentary papyrus actually contains his hitherto lost homily on the baptism of Christ.”

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