Egyptian Christianity & Monasticism under Islamic Rule
One of the oldest Christian communities anywhere is at home in Egypt. Communal monasticism represents Egypt’s most significant contribution to Christianity. The Arab conquest and the ensuing period of Islamic rule led gradually to the Islamization of many territories in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa. While Christianity disappeared completely in some regions, it survived in Egypt down into the present. Today, the Copts comprise the largest Christian community in the Middle East. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the history and legacy of Christianity in Egypt under Islamic dynasties. It focuses on the attitude of Muslim rulers towards the Copts and Egypt’s monastic heritage from the Arab conquest (639-641) to the present day.