“In Your Light, We See Light” Religious Education Through the Homily in the Coptic Orthodox Church
Through the practice of delivering the homily during the liturgical assembly in the Coptic Orthodox Church, the clergy have occupied a central role in presenting the Gospel and therefore in the religious education of catechumens and the baptized faithful. This dissertation seeks to answer the question: How can Coptic Orthodox clergy, particularly in the United States, informed by historical and modern approaches to catechesis and homiletics, offer homilies that provide evangelization, catechetical instruction, and adult faith formation through the liturgical season of the Great Fast? The study is divided into three focus areas: 1) the lectionary, 2) the homilist, and 3) the content of the homily. The final chapter is a recommendation for evangelization, catechesis, and adult faith formation through the homily. The answer to my question comes after a deep study of Scripture, of the writings of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Cyril of Alexandria, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Shenoute of Atripe, Rufus of Shotep, Constantine of Asyūṭ, Jirjis ibn al-‘Amid al-Makin, Habib Girgis, and of the religious educational writings of Anton Vrame, Harold Horell, Thomas Groome, Gabriel Moran and Maria Harris, among so many other scholars. With keen attention to the past, to the Gospel, to religious educational theory, to their own spiritual lives and to the listeners in their congregation, homilists can and should offer evangelization, catechesis, and adult faith formation in the homily to enlighten the hearts and minds of their listeners.
Habib, Daniel, "“In Your Light, We See Light” Religious Education Through the Homily in the Coptic Orthodox Church" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29390550.