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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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Weapons of the Faithful

Weapons of the Faithful

Defining Orthodoxy through Sermons

(p.117) 5 Weapons of the Faithful
Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt

Febe Armanios (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 shows how an aggressive missionary movement in the eighteenth century prompted Coptic clergymen to mount a moral campaign against ‘heretical’ Catholic teachings. Missionaries had used the pulpit to spread their message among Arabic-speaking Christians, and Coptic leaders responded by disparaging contact with Catholics and scorning their heterodox practices, which were proliferating as a consequence of intermarriage, socialization, or outright conversion. At times, Coptic leaders sermonized for the expulsion of believers who fell outside the lines of moral and spiritual orthodoxy. The intensifying engagement with outsiders also spawned overtly sectarian language and fostered the characterization of an authentic Coptic identity opposed to the perceived depravity of other communities.

Keywords:   moral campaign, pulpit, heterodox, conversion, orthodoxy, sectarian language, authentic

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