Unveiling Hidden Treasures: Manuscripts of the Coptic Monastery of St Paul the Hermit, Egypt

Lunchtime lecture
Friday 12 April: Learn more about the project to digitise rare Coptic manuscripts from the Monastery of St Paul the Hermit in Egypt and preserve them for future generations.

St Paul the Hermit (c. 228-341) has had a compelling lure on the imaginations of Christians from Late Antiquity to the present day.

Identified through the centuries as the first Christian hermit, Paul is believed to have lived most of his long life in a cave in the Egyptian desert near the Red Sea. In time, his hermitage became the core of a monastic settlement that has existed continuously for almost two millennia and bears material witness to sustained devotion to the saint in the form of multiple phases of expansion, wall paintings, liturgical furnishings, and a wealth of precious manuscripts.

Since 2018, and in cooperation with the Monastery of St Paul, an Australian team has been working to digitise and document the precious manuscript collection. This paper presents the goals of the project.

This lecture is presented in association with The Fellowship for Biblical Studies, Australia’s association of biblical scholars and academics.

Register for the Unveiling Hidden Treasures lecture

About the speaker

Dr Lisa Agaiby (Ph.D. Macquarie University and University of Göttingen), is the Academic Dean and Senior Lecturer in Coptic Studies at St Athanasius College, an affiliated college of the University of Divinity. She is currently leading a flagship project to digitise and catalogue the precious collection of manuscripts at the ancient Coptic Monastery of St Paul the Hermit at the Red Sea, Egypt.

Her latest publications include: First in the Desert: St. Paul the Hermit in Text and Tradition (Brill, 2024); with Tim Vivian, Door of the Wilderness: The Greek, Coptic, and Copto-Arabic Sayings of St. Antony of Egypt (Brill, 2021); with Mark N. Swanson, and Nelly Van Doorn-Harder, Copts in Modernity (Brill, 2021); and The Arabic Life of Antony attributed to Serapion of Thmuis. Cultural Memory Reinterpreted (Brill, 2018).

Photo courtesy of St Paul’s Monastery

Event details

Lunchtime lecture

Friday 12 April 2024
1.00PM - 2.00PM
Nelson Meers Foundation Auditorium
Register now