#26 Heather Sharkey: A History of Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Middle East

These days I was catching up on writing reviews. One book in particular stood out. If there was such a thing as the Middle Eastern minorities book of the year 2017, this would definitely be it. Heather Sharkey (University of Pennsylvania) succeeded in adding an indispensable volume to the many books that have been written… Continue reading #26 Heather Sharkey: A History of Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Middle East

#25 Georgia’s lived (and often political) religion

One of the most striking aspects of Georgia today is the omnipresence of the Georgian Orthodox Church and orthodox religious practice, a fully fledged revival characteristic of the post-Soviet period. New churches are being built in every place that is considered meaningful (mostly obviously so where religion and (identity)politics intersect) while old ones are being… Continue reading #25 Georgia’s lived (and often political) religion

#23 Franz Werfel’s Musa Dagh (1933) and the Christians of the Middle East

Introduction[i] In March 1930, the poet and novelist Franz Werfel made a long trip to the Middle East. It was the second visit time he and his wife Alma Mahler visited the region. This time the trip included stays at Alexandria, Cairo and Jerusalem. In Damascus they were invited to a tour  a carpet factory… Continue reading #23 Franz Werfel’s Musa Dagh (1933) and the Christians of the Middle East

#22 Arab Orthodox Christians

Recently I wrote a review of a recent study of Arab Christianity: Constantin A. Panchenko, Arab Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans: 1516-1831 (Jordanville NY: Holy Trinity Seminary Press, 2016). The full review will be published later this year in our Journal of Eastern Christian Studies (2018, 1-4). For everyone who is interested in the history… Continue reading #22 Arab Orthodox Christians

#21 Sinan Antoon, The Baghdad Eucharist

Earlier this year the English translation of Sinan Antoon’s Ya Maryam (‘Ave Maria’) was published. The brief novel first came out in Arabic in 2012, the year when it was also shortlisted for the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Maia Tabet’s translation under the equally fitting title The Baghad Eucharist is a harrowing read… Continue reading #21 Sinan Antoon, The Baghdad Eucharist

#20 A brief history of Christianity in Iran

The presence of Christianity in Iran goes back to the early periods of Christian history, although scholars do not know when exactly it first arrived. What we do know, is that Christianity was present in northern Mesopotamia (today’s North-Iraq, which belonged to the Sassanid Empire) in the (late) second and early third century, and that… Continue reading #20 A brief history of Christianity in Iran