In Motherland Lost, Samuel Tadros provides a clear understanding of the Copts-the native Egyptian Christians-and their crisis of modernity in conjunction with the overall developments in Egypt as it faced its own struggles with modernity. He argues against the dominating narratives that have up to now shaped our understanding of the Coptic predicament - their eternal persecution, from the Roman and Byzantine emperors to the rule of Islam, and the National Unity discourse - asserting rather that it is due to the crisis of modernity.
Linking the Egyptian and Coptic stories, the book argues that the plight of Copts today is inseparable from the crisis of modernity and the answers developed to address that crisis by the Egyptian state and intellectuals, as well as by the Coptic Church and laypeople. The author asserts that the answers developed by Egyptian intellectuals and state modernisers to the challenge modernity poses revolved around the problem of Islam. The Copts, then, although affected, like their fellow Egyptians, by the challenge of modernity, were faced with a separate crisis: a specific challenge to their ancient church and the need for a new orientation and revival to be able to deal with modernity and its discontents. Tadros concludes that the prospects for Copts in Egypt appear bleak and are leading to a massive Coptic exodus from Egypt.
Samuel Tadros is a research fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom and a professorial lecturer at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, USA. Before joining Hudson in 2011, Tadros was a senior partner at the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, an organisation that aims to spread the ideas of classical liberalism in Egypt. His current research focuses on the rise of Islamist movements in Egypt and the implications for religious freedom and regional politics. Born and raised in Egypt, he received him MA in democracy and governance from Georgetown University, USA and his BA in political science from the American University in Cairo. He has also studied at the Coptic Theological Seminary in Cairo.