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Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany Takla

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166631

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166631.001.0001

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Notes on the Arabic Life of Ibrahim al-Fani: A Coptic Saint of the Fourteenth Century

Notes on the Arabic Life of Ibrahim al-Fani: A Coptic Saint of the Fourteenth Century

(p.153) 15 Notes on the Arabic Life of Ibrahim al-Fani: A Coptic Saint of the Fourteenth Century
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

Asuka Tsuji

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter presents a reading of the Arabic Life of Ibrahim al-Fani, a Coptic saint of the fourteenth century. It tells the story of his early life, sufferings, discipleship under Marqus al-Antuni, and death. It discusses the date and purpose of the compilation of the life of that saint, and its literal, religious, and social implications. The Life of Ibrahim offers a glimpse of the Coptic experiences of the period and the distinct viewpoints of the clergy who sanctioned this Life. The text attests to the thriving monastic life during this particular era, when the monasteries of St. Antony and Abu Fana, and others, were filled with monks. This vibrant religious life is in stark contrast to the accounts of abandoned monasteries and destitute monks of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Finally, the Life points to an active Coptic community in Cairo despite the persecutions.

Keywords:   Coptic saint, Coptic community, Life of Ibrahim al-Fani, biography, monastic life

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