DEPT. for the STUDY of RELIGIONS
SCHOOL of ORIENTAL and AFRICAN STUDIES
UNIVERSITY of LONDON

in conjunction with

The British School of Archaeology in Iraq

&

The Anglican and Eastern Churches Association

Presents

CHRISTIANITY IN IRAQ

Christianity in Iraq
A Seminar Day investigating the Christian heritage of Iraq

Speakers include Prof. Amir Harrak (Toronto), Prof. J. Healey (Manchester)

Dr. Erica Hunter (Cambridge & SOAS), Prof. Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge)

together with representatives of various churches in Iraq

SATURDAY 3rd APRIL 2004

To be held at The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

SCHOOL of ORIENTAL and AFRICAN STUDIES

Thornhaugh St., Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG


Christianity in Iraq: Synopsis

The origins of Christianity in Iraq are shrouded in the mists of time, but groups of Christians were settled by the second century C.E. During the Sassanid period (241 632 C.E.) the 'Church of the East' and the 'Syrian Orthodox Churches' were to emerge as distinct entities. Christians contributed to the intellectual environment of Islam, particularly during the Abbassid period. At this time the dioceses of the Church of the East extended to the Gulf and Arabia and as far as China. In Central Asia, conversions were made amongst the Kerait and other Altaic tribes.

When Hulugu Khan led his forces into Iraq in the thirteenth century, Christian princesses were counted amongst the members of the Mongol royal family. The vigour of Christianity under the Il-Khanate is epitomised by the writings of Gregory Bar Hebraeus. A century later, the arrival of Tamerlane ushered in a period of terror and instability for Christianity. Many communities fled northward to the Mosul plain and the Hakkari region of Turkey where they remained until the 1920's.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the arrival of Europeans and increased contact with the Christian communities of Iraq. Roman Catholic missionaries brought elements of the 'Church of the East' and the 'Syrian Orthodox Church' under the aegis of Rome, as Uniate churches. Today the the 'Chaldaean' church is the largest Christian denomination in Iraq. But the rich fabric of Christianity still includes adherants of the traditional Syriac churches, as well as relative newcomers including the Protestant churches.


SEMINAR DAY PROGRAMME
Morning Session: Chair: Dr. Suha Rassam

10.00 A.M. Opening Addresses
Dr. Ulrich Pagel
The Dept. for the Study of Religions, SOAS

Sir Terence Clark
British School of Archaeology in Iraq

The Rev. William Taylor
Anglican and Eastern Churches Association

10.15 a.m. Opening Paper
Prof. John Healey (University of Manchester)
The early history of the Church of the East, and its missions in the Gulf.

10.45 11.15 a.m. Morning Tea/Coffee

11.15 a.m.
Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter (SOAS/University of Cambridge)
Christian communities of Hira and southern Iraq.

11.45 a.m.
Assoc.Prof. Amir Harrak (University of Toronto, Canada)
The Christian archaeology of Tekrit.

12.15 p.m.
Dr. Heleen Murre Van Den Berg (University of Leiden, Netherlands)
Formulating Christian identities in the Ottoman period.

12.45 p.m.
Dr. George Kiraz (Beth Mardutho, The Syriac Institute)
The Syriac Digital Library Project.

Luncheon [The Brunei Gallery Cafeteria] 1.00 -2.00 p.m.
* Moroccan-style vegetarian lunch

Afternoon session: Chair: Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter

2.00 p.m.
Dr. Suha Rassam
'Christianity in Iraq': dimensions and dynamic.

2.15 3.45 p.m.
Presentations by representatives of the Syriac Churches in Iraq,
to be followed by discussion and questions from the audience.

The Rev. Khoshaba Georges
The Assyrian Church.

The Rev. Habib Al-Nawfali
The Chaldaean Church.

The Rev. Toma Daood
The Syrian Orthodox Church.

The Rev. Safa' Habash
The Syrian Catholic Church.

3.45 p.m.
Prof. Geoffrey Khan, FBA (University of Cambridge)
The Christian Neo-Aramaic Dialects of Iraq.

4.15 p.m. Closing Comments
Sir Harold Walker

4.30 p.m. Afternoon Tea


Christianity in Iraq: Application Form  (Please print out and post to the address below)

NAME (S): ..............................................................


ADDRESS: ..............................................................

	..............................................................

	..............................................................

	..............................................................

	..............................................................


Day time tel.no. .......................................................


e-mail address:  ......................................................


Please circle fee enclosed (or use PayPal buttons below)
Fees:
Full			25.00
BSAI Member		20.00
AECA Member		20.00
Student 		10.00*

*Please send proof of student status.

Fees include vegetarian lunch, morning and afternoon tea/coffee.

Do you require disabled access?  Yes/No

Please send this form with your remittance by Tuesday March 30th
(cheques should be made payable to Dr. Erica Hunter) or pay by credit card by using the PayPal buttons below.

Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter,
Dept. for the Study of Religion,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
Thornhaugh Street,
LONDON WC1H 0XG

For further details, please contact:
E-mail:  Dr Erica Hunter
Fax: 01223- 566493
PAY BY CREDIT CARD:

Full Rate:


Discounted Rate for AECA & BSAI members:

Student Rate:
(please email me proof of your student status e.g. registration number at your institution)