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POLITICAL PHILSOPHY: OUR POVERTY IN الفلسفة أو النظرية السياسية – فقر الأقباط فيها

March 5, 2011

The Copts are deficient in political philosophy. There is no way to escape this sad fact. No Copt has emerged as a great political philosopher, and it is hard sometimes to come to the conclusion that, unlike the ancient Greeks, Romans, Muslims, and modern Europeans, the Copts are yet infants in political philosophy. This is not surprising, since the Copts have lacked a state of their own for nearly three thousand years. When a nation does not rule itself, and exercise political power, or have little hope of doing so, it tends to ignore thinking into the best ways of governing itself.

The Copts do not only lack a comprehensive political theory, or theories; they also, unlike other peoples who are much younger than themselves, such as the Southern Sudanese, don’t show serious interest in learning about the subject of political theory. The status of our learning in this important branch of humanities is regrettable. A nation which does not possess a keen interest in studying political philosophy, and develop a comprehensive theory of how its members should rightly adjust their relationship towards their enemies, rulers, society, and each other, cannot be expected to retain its liberty or obtain justice. In the absence of an accepted political theory intellectual confusion reigns in matters of political thinking, and the people will not be ready, or know how, to respond even to the existential threat that faces it.

The Copts’ poverty in political theory should, nonetheless, not blind us to the fact that we can find, scattered here and there, in Coptic literature, a nucleus for what we can call a Coptic political theory. My job here will be to discern such scattered political writings in Coptic literature – but at the same time, I will try to construct, by studying different political theories, a narrative that can be used as a basis for a Coptic political theory, that is applicable to our unique situation, and which can respond to our distinct national needs.

All writings under this subject I shall put under the category of “Towards a Coptic Political Theory”.

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