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August 30, 2015

Some advocate for Coptic revival and learning in order for Copts to be able to understand Church services and hymns. Good objective of course, and an essential one. However, that must not be the sole purpose. Those who advocate for that as the only purpose are of limited view of themselves and the world.

Coptic must be learned for religious and secular purposes, which are not in fight with each other: it must be revived so that it becomes a central elements in the Coptic identity through creating modern literature that can reshape the soul of the nation away from any Arab and Muslim culture.

Yes, a main objective of paramount importance of learning Coptic is the production of modern Coptic literature that describes our nation and embodies our Coptic values. The soul of the nation is to be found in its literature – and we must put our soul in our literature.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2015 2:33 am

    The problem is there is no impetus or drive to learn Coptic in such a manner so as to revive a culture. And one has to wonder, what “Coptic” should be revived and spoken? Bohairic? Graeco? Sahidic? Fayumic?

    I think we need to learn Coptic to translate and bring to light ancient secular and religious writings to share with those around the beauty of the ancient Coptic culture. If by this purpose where we got a huge number of Copts to do this it then develops into a modern literary culture, then that would be great, maybe even get Egyptian Muslims to participate in this project of revitalization of a true Egyptian language. But to tell people to learn Coptic just to make a new modern culture needs a bit more incentive in the minds of any human being.

    Language goes through a natural evolution. I was asking a friend why Ge’ez in Ethiopia died out eventually with Amharic. There was no enforcement to get rid of Ge’ez. There was no persecution against speakers of Ge’ez. It was a natural dying out apparently.

    Cultures come and go. Right now, the best you can do is develop an academic culture from the ground up from Coptic children. THEN, MAYBE, you might be able to have some success of creation a sub-culture of pure Coptic speakers that may spread to non-Christians.

    • Dioscorus Boles permalink*
      September 2, 2015 10:36 am

      Thanks, Mina. I am asking for modern Coptic literature by which I mean writing stories, novels, poetry, etc., genres. All we have at the present is old literature, mainly religious. The old literature is precious but we still need new literature.

      • September 3, 2015 3:11 am

        I understand. My issue is given basic human nature and evolving of cultures, this would be a very very difficult dream to accomplish. My argument is to set up a “bait” to incentivize the learning of Coptic, not for modern, but for the past, something more practical. Only then, perhaps, the encouragement to create modern literature would be born.

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