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E02849: A Coptic Discourse of Shenoute (abbot of the White Monastery near Sohag in Upper Egypt) referring to the saints as allies of those without sin; written in the 5th century.

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posted on 26.05.2017, 00:00 by gschenke
In his discourse entitled The idolatrous pagans, or, And we will also reveal something else (discourses 8, work 9 or 10), Shenoute mentions that the saints pay attention to peoples' lives, and serve as their allies or enemies.

‘Why have we been content with violent acts, in all of which we violate only ourselves? Let us not make ourselves strangers to God and his Christ on account of merriment and deceitful amusement and impiety, and let us not be enemies to his saints. We know that if God turns his face from us no one will pay attention to us in our life and when we go to him.’

Translation: Brakke and Crislip 2017, 121.

A critical edition of the Coptic text still pending.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed saints (or name lost) : S00518

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Panopolis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Shenoute of Atripe

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Shenoute’s entire literary corpus, preserved in medieval manuscripts only, almost exclusively comes from a single find spot, a storeroom of the church at his ‘White’ monastery. A critical edition of this entire corpus of Shenoute's written work is still in preparation by S. Emmel and others.


Translation and Discussion: Brakke, D., and Crislip, A., Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great: Community, Theology, and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt (Cambridge, 2017), 118–124.

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