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Zuljanah

Programs with a focus on Syro-Arabic Christianity

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Hi all - 

I have interests in early-ish Christianity (7th to 10th centuries) with a particular focus on Syriac, Arabic, and Greek sources. I'm also interested in early Islam, especially early interactions between Muslims and Christians. Does anyone have any program suggestions for this at the PhD level? I would strongly prefer a religious studies program over history, NELC, etc. because I have interests in theory/method and sex/gender.

Anyone have suggestions? Or have general advice about this area?

Thank you in advance! I'm so glad I found this forum; so many kind, helpful people here :)

Edited by Zuljanah

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I'd reach out to David Michelson at Vanderbilt. His specific area is a couple centuries before yours but is heavily into researching Syro-Arabic Christianity and he's also just an amazing guy and very nice.

He's on leave this academic year so may be a bit slow responding to emails.

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On 10/24/2016 at 6:46 PM, sacklunch said:

The largest number of scholars (and graduate students) in the states that I know of is at the Catholic University of America in DC. 

I came here to say something along those lines. However, from what I know their funding is not so great in comparison to other programs. 

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23 hours ago, Almaqah Thwn said:

I came here to say something along those lines. However, from what I know their funding is not so great in comparison to other programs. 

Unfortunately, I have heard this from (at least) 3 current CUA students. 

To the OP, you might also check out Princeton (faculty in Religion and Near Eastern Studies), Stanford (e.g. Michael Penn), and U Toronto (e.g. Kyle Smith). The problem I think you will run into is finding any one scholar who does all of these languages in that time period. It is not only rare to find specialists in Syriac, but those few who work with the language rarely have expertise in Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, ancient Persian, and so on. Alas, this is not a problem unique to this subfield; but in any case it does seem particularly acute in this case. If you have some background in these languages, even at the introductory/intermediate level, I imagine you would be quite likely to get into a good doctoral program. Perhaps try to find programs with multiple scholars with whom you can build up those areas of interest. This might be possible in larger cities with multiple graduate programs (Boston, NYC, Chicago, Cambridge, London, and so on).

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