Minnesota in Egypt

Material relating to Egyptian Monasticism: a symposium publication, introduction to two great monuments and a brief chronology of Early Chrisianity in Egypt.

Christian Monasticism began in Egypt,
St. Shenute is one of its greatest leaders and
his White Monastery is one of its greatest testimonies.

In 2000, a consortium including two members of the faculty at Minnesota began planning to study and conserve this and neighboring remains.

In 2003, Philip Sellew organized a symposium entitled


It was accompanied by an exhibition entitled Life in Roman and Early Islamic Egypt. The main purpose of this website at present is to publish papers from that Symposium. We will also create a printed version for archival purposes.

December, 2011: This site now has all the materials for the book: title pages and a table of contents, seven Symposium papers, abstracts of the rest, an Appendix containing the exhibition catalogue, and and Index. The papers and the appendix are individually paginated at the top of each page, with the book pagination at the bottom. Removal of one paper necessitated repaginating the book. Final checking continues. Please let us know of any errors you find in the index.

Deborah Brown, the Byzantine Librarian at Dumbarton Oaks, very kindly volunteered to see to getting the book catalogued. We hope to get copies to her around the beginning of the year. We will print very few copies, giving them to libraries.

After that, although the basic text will not change, we will continue to note corrections here if necessary. We expect to add one more paper, whcih will appear in another book but also on line here. Other additions, e.g. of more images if appropriate, may also occur.

Please address queries and comments to egypt@umn.edu. Thank you.

  • Living for Eternity:
    Title Pages for book, Table of Contents for book

    Table of Contents
    for web publication









    This website originally also served other functions:

    see site map

    1.to introduce the White and Red Monasteries as they exist today

    2.to introduce the work underway at these sites

    Spectacularly successful work has now been carried out and continues, so we are providing links to images and discussions that have appeared to date

    3.to present other Minnesota projects on related material.

    4. to provide students with a general background on Early Christianity in Egypt and its legacy as embodied in Eastern and Western art through the centuries.

    These aspects of the site had not been updated since 2003, and changes in the servers have eliminated many links. Revisions are now (March 2012) underway.









    The dancing figures used on these pages come from an Egyptian textile in the Arca Artium collection of Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN, by permission.

    Copyright 2001 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Sheila J. McNally. All rights reserved. Contact Sheila McNally at egypt@umn.edu.

    The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.