#15 Arabic and its Alternatives – Report Leiden Conference 15-17 June 2016

  These days I’m processing the contributions of an inspiring conference we had in Leiden and The Hague. It was organized under the title Arabic and its Alternatives: Religious minorities and their languages in the emerging nation states of the Middle East (1920-1950). A vibrant group of junior and senior scholars participated in vigorous debates about… Continue reading #15 Arabic and its Alternatives – Report Leiden Conference 15-17 June 2016

#14 The Christians of the Middle East in Past and Current Crises

  The first impetus to organizing this meeting came when reading Keith David Watenpaugh’s book Bread from Stones while I and many others watched with horror and bewilderment the refugee crisis as it spiraled into chaos in 2015 (at least, as I don’t need to remind you, as far as the European public was concerned… Continue reading #14 The Christians of the Middle East in Past and Current Crises

#13 De christenen van het Midden-Oosten in deze en eerdere crises (IVOC-seminar, vrijdag 22 april, Nijmegen)

Hoe hangt de huidige crisis in het Midden-Oosten samen met eerdere crises in het Midden-Oosten? Wat kan de geschiedenis van de periode na de Eerste Wereldoorlog ons leren over de situatie van de christenen in de regio nu? En welke rol spelen eerdere migratiestromen van christenen uit de regio in de huidige crisis? Christenen zijn… Continue reading #13 De christenen van het Midden-Oosten in deze en eerdere crises (IVOC-seminar, vrijdag 22 april, Nijmegen)

#12 Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq

Among the many refugees from Syria and Iraq are considerable numbers of Christians. Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on the first Institute of Eastern Christian Studies Report (IECS-Report1). This report aims to provide an overview of the current situation of these Christians, including their temporary shelter in neighboring countries such as… Continue reading #12 Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq

#11 Reversible and irreversible effects of the Middle Eastern crisis on the region’s Christians

Settling in back home after a week of talks in Beirut about the effects of the current crisis in the Middle East on the region’s Christians, I’m trying to make sense of everything I saw and heard. I’ll be writing more about this visit in the coming weeks, but for now a remark made by… Continue reading #11 Reversible and irreversible effects of the Middle Eastern crisis on the region’s Christians

#9 Full-color Scriptures

In my recently published book Scribes and Scriptures: The Church of the East in the Eastern Ottoman Provinces, 1500-1850 (Peeters), no photographs, full-color or otherwise, were included. Perhaps the most beautiful manuscript that I encountered during my research was an illustrated Gospel Lectionary that is kept in the patriarchal library of Jerusalem. A few pictures might… Continue reading #9 Full-color Scriptures

#8 Bread from Stones: humanitarianism’s impossible task

Keith David Watenpaugh, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (Oakland, CA: CUP, 2015) Although the research and writing of Watenpaugh’s book was started before the current humanitarian crisis in the Middle East broke out, in more ways than one it can be read as one long investigative commentary on… Continue reading #8 Bread from Stones: humanitarianism’s impossible task

#7 Current issues: Christians in Syria and Turkey

Three books that were published in 2012 and 2013 deserve attention, even if the ‘current’ in these books is that of three years ago. The first is that of Najib Awad, now a professor at Hartford Seminary, and born and raised in Syria. His book, And Freedom Became a Public-Square: Political, Sociological and Religious Overviews on… Continue reading #7 Current issues: Christians in Syria and Turkey