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Anthony Shenoda


Whose Innocence?: Thoughts on Copts, Muslims, and a World Gone (Temporally) Mad

 [Muslims and Christians mingle at the Feast of St George in Mit Damsis, August 2007. Photo by Anthony Shenoda]

Note: The author posted the following addendum on 18 September 2012: I want to be very clear that I neither see the 'Innocence of Muslims' video as expressing a general Coptic view (if there is one) nor do I perceive the recent riots/ protests ostensibly in response to the film by Muslims to be indiciative of a general Muslim or Islamic ethos. What I do insist on, however, is that each of these (video & riots/ protests) can be understood metaphorically as expressing the ...

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Reflections on the (In)Visibility of Copts in Egypt

[Image Source: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Image]

I've been thinking lately about the circumstances under which Coptic Christians emerge on the Egyptian socio-political landscape. Those circumstances tend to be, in a word, ugly. Copts become a visible religious community when they are attacked. And then Westerners in particular wonder: “Who are the Copts?” (I should also point out, however, that although well aware of the existence of Copts, or al-aqbat in Arabic, most Egyptian Muslims are equally unfamiliar with Coptic ...

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Anthony Shenoda


Anthony Shenoda is Assistant Professor of Anthropology & Religion at Leiden University College, The Hague. He is a sociocultural anthropologist with a focus on the anthropology of religion and the Middle East. His research and theoretical interests include The Anthropology of Christianity; materiality; miracles, visions, and dreams—particularly as these relate to institutionalized forms of religious power; Muslim-Christian relations; social memory; hope; prayer; and the anthropology of death and dying. Shenoda has published articles on the politics of faith in Egypt and Coptic Christians and the Egyptian revolution. He is currently working on a book entitled Cultivating MysteryMiracles and a Coptic Moral Imaginary.