Michael Allen

In 2004, Michael Allen, a student at Harvard Divinity School, produced a web resource on Armenian, CopticThe Coptic Church is the ancient and still vibrant church of Egypt, an autonomous Christian church which dates its origins to Mark the Evangelist in the first century. It continues to be led today by a patriarch called a Pope; its liturgical life is condu..., Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac, and Indian ChurchesThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ... in America. The goal of this project was to bring about a greater awareness of the presence of these churches in the United States. His research consisted of two parts. First, he provided an introduction to the six churches, including sections on history, language and culture, iconography, music, and the establishment and growth of the churches in America. The web-based version of this introduction was accompanied by photographs, iconsAn icon is a painted or mosaic image of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Trinity, or the saints which is used in the liturgy, prayer, and theology of the Eastern Orthodox churches. The icon is understood to be a window opening upon the divine reality., and links to samples of music. Second, Allen profiled five Oriental OrthodoxIn general, orthodox means having a “correct opinion or outlook” and is a term used by people in many religions who claim authority for traditional views and forms of their religion. churches from the greater Atlanta area, based on fieldwork conducted in summer 2004. The web version of this project is now archived as a .pdf (link below). Dr. Diana Eck served as the faculty sponsor for this research.

The Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac, and Indian Churches in America

“Oriental,” or “non-Chalcedonian,” OrthodoxyIn general, orthodox means having a “correct opinion or outlook” and is a term used by people in many religions who claim authority for traditional views and forms of their religion. is one of the most ancient and yet least well-known communionsCommunion or holy communion—also called the Eucharist, or the Lord’s supper—is the central rite of the Christian community in which the faithful partake as a community of the sanctified bread and wine. By extension, communion is often used to refer ... within ChristianityChristianity is the religious tradition of Christians: those who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, follow the path Christ taught, and gather together in the community of the church.. The Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac, and Indian churches trace their heritage from the first centuries of the Christian era and continue to number millions of believers in their home countries; nonetheless, they are virtually unknown to many Americans, for whom Christianity means essentially Catholicism, ProtestantismProtestant is a term used for the range of reform movements that broke with the Roman Catholic Church during the period called the Reformation. There are many branches of Protestantism, including the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists..., and Eastern Orthodoxy. Although the Oriental Orthodox Churches remain a minority in the United States, they have grown remarkably over the past four decades. The Coptic ChurchThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ..., for example, had no parishesA parish is the geographical neighborhood or area served by a church or pastor. before 1969; today it has over 180,000 members. Parishes of all six churches can now be found throughout America, and not simply in the major hubs of immigration.

Selected Links and Publications