Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of Cultural Dimensions Theory on an Ethnic Religious Community: The Coptic Orthodox Church in Diaspora
by Gobrail, George A., D.Min., Lancaster Bible College, 2020, 213; 27739848
Abstract (Summary)

The Coptic Orthodox Church was established in the United States in early 1960s. At any local church there is among its congregation two subgroups: Egyptian and American Copt subgroups. The variance of cultural/religious practices of the two subgroups creates a dissonance between the two subgroups or the two subgroups and the Coptic Church in diaspora.

This project adapted Hofstedeā€™s cultural dimensions theory as a lens to investigate the dissonance between the two subgroups, through cultural/religious practices of the Coptic Church. The dimensions are individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, long and short-term orientation, and indulgence versus restraint.

A sequential mixed methods design was applied to this project. The quantitative part was a questionnaire of a sample of 401 Copts participants. The qualitative part was an interview with 15 interviewees.

The data analysis indicated that in individualism versus collectivism, the Coptic Church is moderate and no dissonance exists. In masculinity versus femininity, the Egyptian Copt subgroup prefer the Church remain as masculine Church while the American Copt subgroup prefer the Church to become feminine. Consequently, there is a dissonance between the two subgroups. In power distance, the Church is high in power and authority; therefore, there is a dissonance between the two subgroups and the Church. In uncertainty avoidance the Church is high in uncertainty; therefore, there is a dissonance between the two subgroups and the Church. In long and short-term dimension, the Coptic Church is very short-term oriented, which causes dissonance between the two subgroups and the Church. In indulgence versus restraint the interviewees perceive that the Coptic Church is into indulgence if the Copts have the luxury to pick what they want from the restrictive rules of the ascetic Coptic Church.

The project recommended that understanding these six dimensions of the Coptic Church may benefit the Coptic leaders. The project also recommended more research to follow, in particular, about the perspective of the leaders regarding the six dimensions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Huber, Elaine
Commitee: Scheirman, Edward, Rhoads, Richard
School: Lancaster Bible College
Department: Leadership Studies
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Clergy, Religion
Keywords: Coptic Church, Copts, Cultural dimensions, Dissonance, Egyptian, Hofstede
Publication Number: 27739848
ISBN: 9781658402026
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