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25 XI (4.45 p.m. Warsaw time) Przemysław Piwowarczyk (Uniwersytet Śląski), Coptic texts of ritual power as voices of laypeople?


My seminar paper is an attempt to identify the literary production of lay Christians writing in Coptic. Among the literary pieces in Coptic, there are certainly some composed and/or written by laypeople; however, a positive evaluation of such authorship is usually impossible. The monastic or clerical link is equally hard to prove directly. Nevertheless, it often functions as a default interpretation.
The paper's title is appended with a question mark since I propose not hard evidence but a cumulative argument that I test as a reasonable hypothesis.
I am convinced that the texts of ritual power ('magical texts') give us a unique chance to catch laypeople's writing. In my argument, I refer to three different source corpora: the text of ritual power themselves (internal evidence), church canons concerning magic, and narrative texts portraying magicians (external evidence).

The presentation can be found here