Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

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The Oriental Studies Cabinet of the Moscow Theological Academy held the International Round Table "Egyptian Monasticism: Past and Present"

On November 15, 2022, the Oriental Studies Cabinet of the Moscow Theological Academy headed by Deacon Sergiy Panteleev held an international round table "Egyptian Monasticism: Past and Present". It was attended by historians of Egyptian monasticism and representatives of the Coptic Church and teachers of the Cairo Theological Seminary.

The Bishop of Zvenigorod Kirill greeted guests in the Great Assembly Hall of the Moscow Theological Academy. his welcoming speech He noting that the clergy of the Coptic Church witnesses a modern monastic life in Egypt, which make it possible to prevent any theoretical subjectivism in its study.

Hegumen Benjamin (Al-Moharraq) presented his report on “Monastic life in Egypt: past and present”. He recalled some traditions of Egyptian monasticism, which are still in practice. The speaker also described the state of a modern monastic life in Egypt. He mentioned strict regulations in Egyptian monasteries aimed to focus monks on a prayer and the Holy Scripture. In addition, Hegumen Benjamin touched upon a lifestyle of an Egyptian monk, his rules and a liturgical daily cycle.

Then, Anton A. Voitenko, an employee of the Center for Egyptological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave a report on "The study of Egyptian monasticism in Russian pre-revolutionary historiography." In his report, he made a detailed review of researches on Egyptian monasticism in Russia focusing on pre-revolutionary works.

After a short break, Priest Vasily Samir Zaki, a teacher of the Cairo Theological Seminary, gave his report on “Monk Mina Al-Baramusi and his disciples as an example of a modern monastic school.” The speaker described a life path of Monk Mina and his closest disciples, one of whom was the Patriarch Cyril VI.

Natalya G. Golovnina, Deputy Head at the Department of Eastern Christian Philology and Eastern Churches of the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Humanitarian University, presented a topic "Pachomian texts of Russian Philokalia". She spoke about the process of translating the Philokalia into Slavonic language and the participation in it of St. Paisius (Velichkovsky) and St. Theophan the Recluse.

At the end, Hieromonk Nikandr (Pilishin), a graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy, Dean at the Church of St. Vlasiy in the Old Konyushennaya Sloboda in Moscow, delivered a report on “The Phenomenon of the Revival of Monasticism of the Coptic Church in the XX Century: a View from Russia”. He shared his opinion about some reasons for the revival of monasticism in Egypt.

All reports aroused keen interest and lively discussions. Numerous questions showed the importance of a direct dialogue between academic researchers and direct witnesses of a living tradition of the Egyptian monasticism.

MThA Press Office 

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