Coptics Studies: Past Events

Fall 2010


Claremont Graduate University School of Religion
History of Christianity Program
and the Council for Coptic Studies
cordially invite you to a public lecture on

Beyond Dhimmitude: Finding
Coptic Identity, Past and Present

Dr. Kurt Werthmuller
Azusa Pacific University

Tuesday November 30, 2010
7:00 pm Social and Refreshments
7:30 Lecture

Albrecht Auditorium, Stauffer Hall
925 N. Dartmouth Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711

The lecture will focus on the complexities of Christian identity in Egypt during the Middle Ages, challenging the concept of "dhimmitude" (the definition and limitation of non-Muslim identity by Islamic jurisprudence and ideology) with the political and social realities that informed internal Coptic initiative on the one hand, and realpolitik of the Muslim authorities on the other.  It will also address the importance - and the sensitivies - of these issues in the contemporary Egyptian and regional contexts.

Kurt Werthmuller, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of history at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California and a historian of the Middle East, specializing in medieval Islam as well as a variety of interests in the modern Middle East (including Israel/Palestine and Egypt).  His most recent research has been on the Coptic Christian community of Ayyubid Egypt and the reign of the Ayyubid sultan al-Malik al-Kamil (r. 1218-1238).  Werthmuller has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Egypt, a number of academic visits to Syria, Jordan, and Turkey, and various travels in Israel and the Palestinian territories.  He is the author of Coptic Identity and Ayyubid Politics in Egypt, 1218-1250 (AUC Press 2010) as well as articles including "The Extraordinary Ordinariness of Ibn Khaldun: The Great Medieval Islamic Historian in Context" (Historically Speaking 2007), and "The Copts in Egypt, 300-1000 CE" / "The Copts in Egypt, 1000-1500 CE" for the World History Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO 2010).

There will be an opportunity for book signing by the author.  Inquiries may be addressed to Dr. S. Michael Saad, Chair, Council for Coptic Studies, School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, e-mail:

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