The Coptic Orthodox Church under Pope Shenouda III; observations about his Theology and Biography. Review of the thesis of Matthias Gillé

Sent On: 
Mon, 2014-06-30
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German Protestant theologian Matthias Gillé wrote his thesis about the life and work of Pope Shenouda III, the late but still influential, and beloved pope of the Coptic-Orthodox church. Therefore, he used different sources, including interviews and material provided by Arab-West Report (AWR), and former AWR interns as well as an interview with AWR editor-in-chief Cornelis Hulsman.

The heavy use of Arab-West Report sources was recommended by Prof. Dr. Wolfram Reiss, professor of comparative religion at the University of Vienna, Austria since Arab-West Report has a most extensive electronic library on the contemporary church in Egypt with thousands of references to Pope Shenouda. In Gillé’s close to 1000 footnotes, there are 80 references to Arab-West Report sources. He also expresses in his thesis his indebtedness to the information obtained through Arab-West Report. Please click here for the importance of Arab-West Report for his thesis.

Gillé wrote his thesis in German. We were very pleased to have Fabian Weinert, a German intern who has made a substantial effort to read the 118-page thesis and summarize this in a 30-page document in English. The summary was first approved by Gillé and language edited by Emily Stacey.  It gives a good overview of Pope Shenouda’s life, his role as teacher of the church, his theology and his tremendous influence in the Coptic Orthodox Church, which makes him the most important Egyptian church leader in the second half of the 20th century. To read the summary of Gillé’s thesis please click here.


Cornelis Hulsman

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report