Leadership and Intellectual Humility in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Bishop Athanasius of Beni Suef (1962-2000) and the Papal Committee

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Abstract

This essay explores the concept of intellectual humility in the context of religious and communal leadership within the Coptic Orthodox Church, the indigenous Church of Egypt. The focus is on the strategies employed by Athanasius, the Bishop of Beni Suef and Bahnasa (1962- 2000) during a period of inner Coptic strife caused by the existence of the so-called Papal Committee (1981 to 1985). The root of the conflict was a head-on collision of ideas between the Coptic Pope, Shenouda III (1971-2012) and President Sadat (1970-1981) that resulted in the Pope being banned to a remote desert monastery. One of the main arguments in this essay is that the character trait called “intellectual humility” was foundational to Athanasius’ leadership style and instrumental in saving the Coptic Church from being torn apart by inner conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
JournalJournal for the Study of Religion in Africa and its Diaspora
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Coptic Orthodox Church, Egypt, Bishop Athanasius, Pope Shenouda, President Sadat, Religious Leadership, Intellectual Humility.

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