#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

#5 Petrus in Leiden

(St. Peter's Confessions: a Dan-Brown type novel about Leiden’s connection with one of Christianity’s founders – light summer reading involving Leiden’s major festival, scholars and students, biblical interpretation, Aramaic and Greek, early Christian history and sixteenth-century Leiden history.) Om niet de indruk te wekken me zelfs in de zomervakantie alleen maar met het serieuzere werk bezig… Continue reading #5 Petrus in Leiden

#4 Vernacular religion in the Middle East

James Grehan, Twilight of the Saints: Everyday Religion in Ottoman Syria and Palestine (OUP 2014) Searching out the #baraka of the holy man or woman, visiting their tombs to pray for your relatives, sleeping overnight in a sanctuary to seek the blessing of motherhood, wearing a talisman with sacred scripture, gathering water from a sacred well… Continue reading #4 Vernacular religion in the Middle East

#3 Christians in the Ottoman Empire Revisited (Krimsti & Çolak)

Recently two well-researched additions to Ottoman Studies landed on my desk, both touching upon the position of Christians and other non-Muslim minorities, both concerning hot topics of current research: Feras Krimsti’s Die Unruhen von 1850 in Aleppo: Gewalt im urbanen Raum (2014) about nineteenth-century violence directed at Christians and Hasan Çolak’s The Orthodox Church in… Continue reading #3 Christians in the Ottoman Empire Revisited (Krimsti & Çolak)