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MemberJames Walters

I teach courses on biblical studies and early Christianity at Rochester University in Michigan. My research is primarily focused on the early Syriac traditions of Christianity, particularly the spread of Christianity within the Persian Empire. More broadly, I am also interested in the reception and transmission of Scripture, Jewish-Christian relations, and post-Chalcedonian Christological disputes.

MemberSalam Rassi

I am an intellectual historian with an interest in theological, philosophical, and scientific encounters between Christians and Muslims living in the medieval Islamicate World. I earned my doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2016, and have since held research and teaching positions at the American University of Beirut and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Minnesota. I am currently completing a monograph based on my doctoral research on the anti-Muslim apologetics of the thirteenth-century bishop and polymath Abdisho of Nisibis.   My current research focuses on two interconnected areas: (i) the history of theological encyclopaedism among Syriac and Arabic-speaking Christians in the medieval Islamicate World and (ii) the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy. The first—theological encyclopaedism—examines a widespread genre of literature produced by Christian communities in the medieval Middle East: the summa theologica, or summary expositions of the Christian faith. These texts provide key insights into how authors articulated a Christian world view within a broader, non-Christian religious setting. The second—the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy—focuses on the impact of Avicenna’s metaphysics on the philosophical and theological oeuvre of Barhebraeus (d. 1285/6), a near contemporary of Thomas Aquinas and of comparable significance to the Syriac Orthodox tradition.   A further project involves the history of Arabic alchemy, in particular, the representation of the Christian as mediator of alchemical and occult knowledge in the pre-modern Islamic imaginary. Much of this work centres on an unedited alchemical primer attributed to Aristotle, of which I hope to produce a critical edition, translation, and study of its scientific and literary contexts.

MemberStacy Fahrenthold

Stacy Fahrenthold is a historian of the Middle East, with research specializations on modern Syria and Lebanon, migration, displacement, and the First World War in the Ottoman Empire. She is the author of Between the Ottomans and the Entente: the First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora (Oxford University Press 2019), which was recently awarded the 2019 Khayrallah Prize in Migration Studies and 2019 Syrian Studies Association Book Award. Fahrenthold also publishes on transnational politics in the Middle East and its borderlands, and Arabic-speaking migrants in the Americas. She received her Ph.D. from Northeastern University in 2014 and is currently an Assistant Professor of migration history at the University of California, Davis.

MemberChristoph Lange

I studied from 2004–2011 Social Anthropology and Middle East Studies at the University of Leipzig. With my first travels to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, I set my research focus on the Levant region within the Arab Middle East. From 2008–2012 I worked for the German state-funded Collaborative Research Center CRC 586 „Difference and Integration“ at the universities of Leipzig and Halle/Lutherstadt Wittenberg where I conducted my first ethnographic research about Bedouin representations in Syrian television dramas and Arab media discourses about authenticity. Since 2014 I am working as a doctoral researcher at the Research Lab “Transformations of Life” at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne. My actual PhD-research project is about the breeding, standardization and circulation of Arabian purebred horses with an ethnographic focus on Egypt and Arab actors within the global breeding industry.