Admittance to the Theology and Religious studies master’s programme. Other students are welcome if they have knowledge of the history of the modern Middle East or if they had training in theology or religious studies.
Christianity in the modern Middle East has been successfully established as an academic field in its own right, after a long absence from the general study of the Middle East. While for the greatest part of the last century it was mainly an interest of theologians, who wanted to know what was left of Christianity in the area where it started, specialists of the Middle East have become more and more interested in the non-Muslim minorities in the area they are studying. The result is an academic field where theologians, students of religion and students of the Middle East are working together.
In this course, students will learn to position research by themselves and by others about Christianity in the Middle East to the field as a whole. They will furthermore get acquainted with the main discussions of the history of Christianity in the Middle East of the last two centuries, such as the Ottoman millet system, the role of Christians in Arab nationalism and the significance of language in questions of religious identity. All students will choose a specific case study, which they will present and develop further in a paper. By doing that, students will not only be better prepared to conduct their own research about Christianity in the Middle East, but also obtain a good basic knowledge of the field.
In the first half of the course, we will look at the main angles from which Christianity in the modern Middle East can be studied: by using methods from history, theology, and the anthropology of religion. At the same time, students will be introduced to the grand narrative of Christianity in the Modern Middle East and its main points of discussion. Students will write two short essays on the basis of the assigned literature of this part. During the second part of the course, we will zoom into individual regions, denominations and periods by looking at case studies to be discussed by the students in oral presentations. At the end of the course, all students write a short research paper about the same case study.
After this course, the student is able to:
Relate their own research about Christianity in the Middle East and the diaspora to the field as it has developed in the last few decades as part of theology, history, Middle Eastern studies and religious studies
Explain the main developments of Christianity in the Middle East of the last two centuries with basic understanding of its ancient origins
Position themselves in various debates in the field, such as the development of the Ottoman millet system, the concept of minority and the role of Christians in the nahḍa
In addition to that, attention will be given to presentation skills and other academic skills.
The timetable is available on the website Theology and Religious Studies
Mode of instruction
Seminar. Students who miss classes or are not prepared will be required to do extra assignments in order to assess understanding of the assigned literature.
Total course load 5 × 28 hours= 140 hours
Lectures: 13 × 2 = 26 hours
Study of compulsory literature: 52 hours (~4 hours per week)
Assignments: 2 × 4 = 8 hours
Oral research presentation: 20 hours
Research paper (3000 words): 34 hours
Apart from an oral presentation and two small written assignments, students have to write a paper with a maximum of 3000 words. A rough draft of the paper has to be completed by the beginning of January; the final version has to be handed in two weeks later.
The final grade will be determined by:
In-class participation and preparedness (20%)
Oral presentation (20%)
Research paper rough draft (10%)
Research paper final draft (40%)
To pass the course, students must obtain a sufficient grade on both the combined grade for participation, presentation and assignments, and the combined grade for the research paper. In addition to that, students should have handed in a substitute written assignment for all sessions they missed or attended without preparation.
Students who obtain an insufficient grade on any of the parts will be allowed to (1) carry out a new written assignment if the combined grade for participation, presentation and assignments is insufficient, or (2) write a new version of their research paper if the combined grade for the research paper is insufficient.
Blackboard will be used for:
course information, schedule and literature
An overview of literature will be made available on Blackboard. Please check the list before the first meeting.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.