The bodily threat of miracles: Security, sacramentality, and the Egyptian politics of public order

by Angie Heo

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By Angie HeoFull Article: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/amet.12011/abstract

This article examines the political and public culture of Coptic Christian miracles through the circulation and reproduction of images and the mimetic entanglements of artifacts and objects. To understand the threat posed by one case of a woman’s oil-exuding hand, this study points to how semiotic orders of security and sacramentality intersect in the regulation of bodily miracles. It explores Coptic Orthodox Church and Egyptian state efforts to contain the activity of images and transform the public nature of truthful witness and divine testimony. In doing so, it suggests how the material structure of saintly imagination introduces bodily and visual challenges to an authoritarian politics of public order.

. The display case in the church hallway features photos, icons, and artifacts from the dream healing of February 19, 1990. The text in the center describes the contents of the dream, and the surrounding images offer visual accompaniments of evidence. Photo by Angie Heo, Port Said, February 20, 2007.
. The display case in the church hallway features photos, icons, and artifacts from the dream healing of February 19, 1990. The text in the center describes the contents of the dream, and the surrounding images offer visual accompaniments of evidence. Photo by Angie Heo, Port Said, February 20, 2007.

The display case in the church hallway features photos, icons, and artifacts from the dream healing of February 19, 1990. The text in the center describes the contents of the dream, and the surrounding images offer visual accompaniments of evidence. Photo by Angie Heo, Port Said, February 20, 2007.