Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity

Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity

Otto F. A. Meinardus

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9789774247576

Publisher: American University in Cairo Press

Abstract

Christianity arrived early in Egypt, brought—according to tradition—by Saint Mark the Evangelist, who became the first patriarch of Alexandria. The Coptic Orthodox Church has flourished ever since, with millions of adherents both in Egypt and in Coptic communities around the world. Since it split from the Byzantine Church in 451, the Coptic Church has maintained its early traditions, and influence from the outside has been minimal: the liturgy is still sung to unique rhythms in Coptic, a late stage of the same ancient Egyptian language that is inscribed in hieroglyphs on temple walls and papyri. This book is a one-volume history for the Millennium, surveying the twenty centuries of existence of one of the oldest churches in the world.