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Christianity and Monasticism in Northern EgyptBeni Suef, Giza, Cairo, and the Nile Delta$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany N. Takla

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789774167775

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774167775.001.0001

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The Bohairic Acts of the Martyrs as a Genre of Religious Discourse

The Bohairic Acts of the Martyrs as a Genre of Religious Discourse

(p.223) 21 The Bohairic Acts of the Martyrs as a Genre of Religious Discourse
Christianity and Monasticism in Northern Egypt

Ewa D. Zakrzewska

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter examines the function of the Acts of the Martyrs preserved in Bohairic, which played a very influential role in the life of the Church at times, despite their historical inaccuracies. It takes a closer look at the social practices in which these texts functioned and interprets them as manifestations of religious discourse, where the term “discourse” is used in a broad sense to refer to human linguistic behavior appropriate in given social circumstances regardless of the mode (oral or written). It suggests that that the Acts of the Martyrs, which were intended to be read aloud during the liturgical commemoration of a martyr, were essentially persuasive texts: their main function was to influence the attitudes and behavior of their intended audience. The purpose of the present analysis is to reconstruct the strategies by which the realization of this persuasive aim was made possible.

Keywords:   Acts of the Martyrs, Bohairic, social practices, religious discourse, persuasive texts, Christianity, monasticism

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