By Aziz S. Atiya

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Extra resources for The Coptic Contribution to Christian Civilization

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The Church proved to be the cementing ingredient among those sons of Ancient Egypt. Initially a way of worship, Coptism became in the end a way of life and a symbol of an old culture for those isolated Christians in their ancient homeland. Consequently they became the bearers of a torch which had been ignited in the first century and which they were determined to hand on to posterity and keep aglow. On the external level, we have to admit that the shrinking Coptic community of the Middle Ages was never underestimated by its Muslim rulers.

Simultaneously, he was selected Patten Lecturer of the year at Indiana University. He accepted a similar appointment in the following year (195758) at Princeton University and became a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1958-59. At the end of his term at the Institute, the University of Utah offered him a tenured position as Professor of Languages and History. He founded its Middle East Center and its significant Middle East Library, and in 1967 he was named Distinguished Professor of History.

The patriarch then answered that the Copts are under the protectorate of He who protects the Emperor. The matter was dropped at that. The Episcopalians of Britain tried the same tactic in the days of colonialism with the same response. Nevertheless, in recent years, with the increasing spirit of acceptance and dialogue among the sects and nations of 33 Christendom, the Copts seem to be advancing out of their prolonged isolation to participate in the widening circle of good faith among all Christians in anticipation of the discovery of their common Father.

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