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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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The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts

The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts

(p.41) 5 The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

James E. Goehring

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter discusses the latest findings about the monastery of Apa Apollo in Balaʻiza, its inhabitants, and in particular the rich manuscript fragments found there. Evidence suggests that by the seventh–eighth centuries, the great tradition of the Church in its dominant role accounted for the vast majority of textual production in Egypt. At the same time, however, the continued preservation of so-called “gnostic” and other apocryphal texts, and the ongoing production of extra-ecclesiastical amulets and charms, represent a continuing, if limited, interest in such things among certain segments of the Coptic Christian population. In this regard, the ascetic inhabitants of the Monastery of Apollo appear to reflect the Coptic community as a whole. Predominantly aligned with the great tradition, elements that ran counter to it continued to find a limited place within the community.

Keywords:   monastery, Apa Apollo, Balaʻiza, Coptic Christianity, manuscripts, Christians

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