Of all of the “Oriental churches,” it is the Coptic church that has garnered the greatest scholarly attention. Nevertheless, the state of Coptic studies leaves much to be desired. Certain aspects have been studied in some depth at the expense of others that are equally important. Thus, while the Gnostic texts, the Christological controversies, the position of the Alexandrine church, and—to a lesser extent—the modern Coptic renaissance have received a good deal of attention, social history in the pre-modern period is sorely lacking, as is any serious attempt to understand the Coptic community in its Islamic context after the 7th century. Several previous synthetic works on the Coptic church, moreover, now appear problematic for their apologetic or polemical approaches to the subject. The present book, while not filling the lacunae, does provides a welcome, balanced synthetic history of the Coptic church.