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Lev Weitz

"Egyptian Monasticism Under Islam: The Arabic Documents of Dayr al-Naqlun"

Lev Weitz

Fellow, Byzantine Studies

Lev’s research explores the legacy of late antique Christianity in the medieval Islamic world through the study of a single Egyptian monastery, Dayr al-Naqlun in the Fayyum Oasis, whose history spans the late Roman to the Islamic period. An unstudied corpus of Arabic documents excavated on the monastery’s site attests both to the workings of this Coptic Christian center under the rule of the Abbasid and Fatimid caliphs, and to the adoption of the Arabic language among Egyptian Christians and its impact on their social, religious, and institutional life. Lev will spend his time at Dumbarton Oaks studying Dayr al-Naqlun and its documents as a window onto how late antique Roman religions, communities, and institutions were reshaped in the medieval Islamic world, and how they shaped that world in turn.

Lev Weitz is a historian of the Islamic Middle East. His scholarly interests lie in the encounters among Muslims, Christians, and Jews that have shaped the Middle East’s history from the coming of Islam to the present. He is the author of Between Christ and Caliph: Law, Marriage, and Christian Community in Early Islam (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), which examines the multiconfessional society of early Islam through the lens of shifting marital practices of Syriac Christians. Weitz is associate professor of history and director of the Islamic World Studies program at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.