Syriac and Christian Arabic Studies Scholars to Meet in Malta

The Committee of the Syriac and Arab Christian Symposiums, The Aram Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies at the Oriental Institute (University of Oxford), the Department of Oriental Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta, in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology, University of Malta are organising the Eleventh Syriac Symposium between 16 and 18 July. Syriac is a variety of the Aramaic language. This conference will be immediately followed by the Ninth Conference on Christian Arabic Studies, from 19 till 21 July 2012. Both conferences will be held at the University of Malta – Valletta Campus. Around three hundred delegates will participate in both conferences. Given the large number of participants, there will be four parallel sessions during the Syriac Symposium, and two parallel sessions during the Conference on Christian Arabic Studies. Participants in the two conferences will come from prestigious academic institutions in Europe, the Middle East, the USA, Canada, India, and Australia.

During the Syriac Symposium, papers will be read and presentations made about the following themes: Syriac and Semitic philology, Neo-Aramaic dialects, modern Syriac, Syriac Patristics, Syriac liturgy, Syriac theology, contemporary Syriac Christianity and western churches, Syriac Christianity and Oriental churches, Syriac Christianity and Islam, hagiography, chronicles and Acta Sanctorum, Syriac philosophy, asceticism and monasticism, apologetic literature, the Sassanid and early Arab periods, the Mongol and Mamluk periods, manuscripts and codicology, Syriac astrology, astronomy, medicine and magic.

The participants at the Conference on Christian Arabic Studies will be presenting papers on: The Maltese Christian Arabic heritage, Islam and Levantine Christianity, Coptic Christianity, Garshuni literature, cultural celebrations and events, the Christian contribution to modern Arab renaissance, the Arabic language and the Christian Levant, Melkite Christianity, Muslim-Christian-Jewish Biblical studies, Levantine Christianity and Western churches, Christian Arab archaeology and arts, Arab Christian theology, the relations between the Oriental churches, Levantine Christianity and western travellers, translation of Greek and Syriac documents into Arabic.

During both conferences, a number of academic projects will be presented.

The two conferences will be preceded by holy liturgy in the Syriac language by His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Y?suf Y?n?n, Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church on Sunday 15 July at 1800hrs at the church of Our Lady of Damascus, Archbishop Street, Valletta. The conferences’ programme will come to an end with a Maronite mass celebrated at the same church on Saturday at 1700hrs.

The full programme of the two conferences is available online.

Dr Martin R. Zammit, head of the Department of Oriental Studies (Faculty of Arts, University of Malta) and Rev. Dr Shafiq Abouzayd, lecturer at the Oriental Institute (University of Oxford) are the academic coordinators of these conferences.