This Unit is devoted to the study of developments within Coptic, Armenian, Chaldean/Assyrian, Syrian, Maronite, and other relevant communities living inside the Middle East or in lands of immigration. The Unit promotes scholarship on themes from the early Christian period to the present, encompassing various approaches and subjects. Its aim is to establish an interdisciplinary platform for fostering scholarly approaches to Middle Eastern Christianity, and to provide opportunities for scholars to discuss their work in relation to the overall field of the study of religion.
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Middle Eastern Christianity Unit
Call for Proposals
The Middle Eastern Christianity unit welcomes proposals on the following topics from all academic fields of study (sociology, ethnography, history, theology, literary theory, ritual studies, etc.) as they are applied to Middle Eastern Christians in any of their communities throughout history, whether in their native lands, or as immigrants throughout the world.
Successful proposals must present a clear thesis, explain the theoretical and methodological approaches of the research, and identify a specific body of evidence that the research will interpret. Please make good use of the allowed word count to submit a well developed proposal. The Middle Eastern Christianity Unit encourages and promotes the inclusion of all scholarly voices and invites proposals from scholars of all ethnic/national backgrounds, genders, professional ranks, disciplinary perspectives, and life circumstances.
“The Work of Our Hands”: Book Cultures and Media Production of Middle Eastern Christianity
The Middle Eastern Christianity unit invites proposals addressing the 2023 AAR annual meeting theme, “The Work of Our Hands,” with a special focus on book cultures and media production of Middle Eastern Christians in any of their communities throughout history, whether in their native lands, or as immigrants throughout the world.
Transnational Connections between the Middle East and South Asia
From the early spread of Syriac Christian traditions to South India to the more recent presence of Indian and Pakistani migrants in the Gulf States, traffic across the Indian Ocean has long connected the Middle East and South Asia. The Middle Eastern Christianity unit welcomes paper proposals for a co-sponsored session with the South Asian Religions unit engaging the intersections between Middle Eastern and South Asian religious traditions, communities, or individuals in the contemporary world or any historical period.
Properties, Infrastructures, and Spaces of Christianity in the Middle East
The Middle Eastern Christianity unit welcomes proposals from all academic fields of study (sociology, psychology, history, literary theory, ritual studies, etc.) engaging the theme of properties, infrastructures, and spaces of Christianity in the Middle East. Papers should consider contestations of space and religiosity within the community or in relation to other non-Christian spaces–including the creation and contestation of sacred space, the use of architecture, religious art (visual and auditory), and communal narratives to sacralize and spirit the space.
Approaches to the Study of Middle Eastern Christianity
We invite proposals addressing theories and methods for the study of Middle Eastern Christianity in the region itself or in diaspora settings, from any disciplinary perspective and in all historical periods. Proposals addressing new and innovative approaches, engaging understudied and unseen aspects of Middle Eastern Christianity, and mapping the field’s development around the world are especially encouraged.
Statement of Purpose
Mourad Takawi, University of the Incarnate Word1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Deanna Womack, Emory University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Steering Committee Members
Eric DeVilliers, University of Notre Dame1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Reyhan Durmaz, University of Pennsylvania1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Erik Estrada, Texas Christian University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Amy Fallas, University of California, Santa Barbara1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Candace Lukasik, Mississippi State University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Monica Mitri, University of Southern California1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Christopher Sheklian, Radboud University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027