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Coptic Egypt: 2000 Years of Christianity

This program visits two of the oldest desert monasteries in Egypt to observe religious practices and a way of life that have changed remarkably little since the beginnings of Coptic Christianity. Using examples of the icons found here, it illustrates the stories of the first Christian hermit, Saint Paul of Thebes, and the first Christian monk, Saint Anthony.

  • Item 48929D
  • Region: US and Canada
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 53 Min
Retail: $19.99
Price: $14.99
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Description

In a suburb of Cairo are a tree and a well, said to mark the place where the Holy Family took refuge after their flight to Egypt. The Copts, the native Christian community of Egypt, have a culture, a language, and a church with ancient roots. Having survived Roman persecution and Byzantine rule, they have co-existed with Islam for fourteen centuries. This program visits two of the oldest desert monasteries in Egypt to observe religious practices and a way of life that have changed remarkably little since the beginnings of Coptic Christianity. Using examples of the icons found here, it illustrates the stories of the first Christian hermit, Saint Paul of Thebes, and the first Christian monk, Saint Anthony.

Alain Jomier's film also documents archaeological discoveries which have illuminated our knowledge of the customs of the early Christian Egyptians and brought to light fine examples of Coptic textiles and murals. At the monastery of Saint Anthony, the restoration of the magnificent thirteenth-century murals that decorate the church has revealed a uniquely comprehensive Coptic iconography. Father Maximus conducts viewers through the church, explaining how the images, and their ordering in relationship to the architecture, guide the believer in their spiritual quest.

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