Saturday, 11 April 2015

Anba Suriel: Highlights of the Arabic Manuscripts of the Life of St. Shenoute of Atripe

St. Shenoute is considered the most prolific and original Coptic writer. The life and works of St. Shenoute were neglected for a long time and, until recently,  Western scholars painted a rather negative image of him. The rediscovery of St. Shenoute, his life and writings has shed new light on his profound legacy.
Much research continues on the Coptic literary corpus of St. Shenoute of Atripe but little work has been done in particular on the Arabic manuscripts of the life of St. Shenoute. There are no less than fifteen partial or complete Arabic manuscripts in existence located in Egypt, London and Paris, the earliest of which dates back to the early 14th century A.D. and can be found at St. Anthony Monastery near the Red Sea in Egypt.
The research into the legacy of St. Shenoute and his influence on Monasticism and Christianity for many centuries after his departure would not be complete without a thorough study of the Arabic version of his Life in comparison with the Bohairic text. There also exist a Syriac and an Ethiopian version of the Vita, which show that St. Shenoute's influence crossed the borders of Egypt. A major research project on the Arabic manuscripts is currently been undertaken.

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