the state and the church 273 © Koninklijke Brill BV, Leiden, 1999 Die Welt des Islams 39, 3 THE STATE AND THE CHURCH IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY EGYPT 1 BY MUHAMMAD AFIFI Cairo The aim of this study is to investigate the nature of the relation- ship between the Egyptian State and the Coptic Church in the nineteenth century. Egyptian historical studies have not been greatly concerned with relations between the Church and the state. The tradition of nationalist historical writing in modern Egypt has made it difficult to discuss this subject, for in doing so one may be perceived as challenging the idea of national unity. 2 Moreover, in accordance with the consistent doctrine of the Coptic Church that “there is no politics in religion,” Egyptian historians have not touched upon the socio-political history of the Coptic Church as an institution. Instead, their interest has focused upon the role of Coptic politicians. This neglect has contributed to a lack of understanding of the position of the Coptic Church in Egyptian politics, such that Egyptian historians and intellectuals had no context in which to understand the conflict between Presi- dent Sadat and Pope Shenuda III, which resulted in the President
Die Welt des Islams – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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