Syriac and its Users in the Early Modern World c 1500 – 1750

March 15th – March 16th 2018, Christ Church, Oxford


  Thursday March 15 Friday March 16
09:00 (Lecture Room 2) Welcome and introductory comments  
09:30 First session (Lecture Room 2) Community Boundaries in the Middle East

Heleen Murre-van den Berg, ‘The Book of the Garden (ktābā d-gantā aw d-luqqāṭē) – a late sixteenth century witness to the early phases of catholicization of the Church of the East 

Lucy Parker –  The interconnected histories of the Syriac Churches

New Horizons

George Kiraz: The Patriarchate of Antioch in the Early Modern World

Radu Mustaţă: Liturgical poetry among the Saint Thomas Christians in the aftermath of the Synod of Diamper (1599): The case of the ‘canticles of glorification’


11:30 Second session

(Lecture Room 2)

Scribes, Authors and Scholars

David Taylor: Maphrian Basilios Shem‘un on Purgatory: Syrian Orthodox responses to Catholic theology in the early eighteenth century.

Hidemi Takahashi: On Some Syriac Scribes and Scholars of the Early Modern Period: Readers and Copyists of Barhebraeus’ Works

Syriac Christianity and Islam

Sergey Minov: The Marvels Found in the Great Cities, Seas and Islands: Appropriation of a Muslim Literary Genre by Syriac-Speaking Christians

Ephrem Ishac: Syriac Liturgy in the Sixteenth Century



14:15 Third session

(Lecture Room 2)

Syriac Scholarship in Europe, Part I

Philip Forness: Scholarship on Syriac Christianity and Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe

Joanna Weinberg: A Jew reads the Gospels in Syriac: Azariah de’ Rossi’s critique of the Vulgate (1577)

Texts Beyond Manuscripts

Erica Hunter: Syriac Amulets: Vernacular Traditions of the Christian Communities in Hakkari

Colin Clarke: Syriac Epigraphic Metrical Poetry: Origins and Expressions in Stone

16:15 Fourth Session, until c.17:45.

(Lecture Room 2)

Syriac Scholarship in Europe, Part II

Theodor Dunkelgrün: Syriac studies in Antwerp and Leiden, c.1565- c.1630: a material history of scholarship

András Mércz: The Syriac Correspondence of Moses of Mardin


John-Paul Ghobrial: Closing remarks, opening of round table