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Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt$
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Febe Armanios

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744848.001.0001

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Championing a Communal Ethos

Championing a Communal Ethos

The Neo-Martyrdom of St. Salib in the Sixteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.41) 2 Championing a Communal Ethos
Source:
Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt
Author(s):

Febe Armanios (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744848.003.0003

Chapter 2 investigates the popularity of the martyr Salib (d. 1512), who publicly defamed the Prophet Muhammad and later refused to convert to Islam in defense of his faith. The chapter examines why Salib’s story appeared during this period, and suggests that following the tumultuous Mamluk era, Coptic leaders were looking for ways to sustain a fresh interest in their faith. In the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church had intensified its efforts to win the Copts’ allegiance through a series of tenuous agreements with various patriarchs. Moreover, Salib’s hagiography, written shortly after his death, depicts the complex social relations that existed in Egypt soon after the Ottoman conquest and reveals how these relationships were constructed, narrated, and represented to the community. Notably, Salib’s martyrology, which relates how a Copt was tortured and executed by Muslim authorities, avoids anti-Islamic invective, and focuses, for the most part, on neutral relations with the dominant Muslim culture.

Keywords:   hagiography, martyrology, Roman Catholic Church, torture, social relations, convert

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