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Egyptologist's Talk Nov. 13 Will Examine Early Christianity in Egypt
For release: November 6, 2007
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Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe, an Egyptologist and director of Student Success Initiatives at California State University Monterey Bay, will discuss the development of early Christianity in Egypt in his presentation “Christians Lost in the Desert? Evidence for Early Christianity at Kharga Oasis, Egypt.”

The free public lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 13, in the Fogelman Executive Center, Room 123, on the University of Memphis campus. A public reception at 6 p.m. will precede the lecture.

“Christians Lost in the Desert?” will explore the long and complex transition from the traditional religious beliefs of ancient Egypt to the new Christian practices. Based on archaeological field research conducted mainly at the sites of Bagawat and Gebel Teir in Kharga Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert, the presentation will examine the process of the conversion of Egyptians to Christianity using these communities as a guide and model. Cruz-Uribe will also discuss how Egyptians adapted traditional practices to Christianity, as well as how the two groups went from being friendly neighbors to serious competitors.

Cruz-Uribe received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Egyptology from the prestigious Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. His work has focused on ancient Egyptian language, society, and culture in the later first millennium B.C. and the early Roman period in Egypt. He has excavated in Egypt for more than two decades and is a specialist in Demotic, one of the last phases of the ancient Egyptian language. Cruz-Uribe has published extensively on his work at the Hibis Temple Project at Kharga Oasis and on other Egyptological topics.

Before becoming an administrator at California State University Monterey Bay, Cruz-Uribe was professor of history and associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University, where he was fondly known as the “Egypt guy.” He also has also taught in the Egyptology Department at Brown University. Cruz-Uribe’s work with ancient Egypt dates to the 1970s when he was a curatorial assistant for the “Treasures of Tutankhamen” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Cruz-Uribe was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to study ancient Egyptian graffiti in the Nile Valley and to teach at South Valley University in Egypt.

The event is co-sponsored by the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the U of M and the Mississippi-Memphis Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Convenient parking is available in the parking garage on Innovation Drive, adjacent to the Fogelman Executive Center.  

For more information, call 901-678-2555.

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