This year’s master course on the Christian communities in the modern Middle East (1800 till present), focuses on the theme of the interconnections between language and religion, from two different perspectives:
(1) How, when and why special ritual languages, which usually are different from the spoken en literary languages of the communities, have survived in many of the Christian communities of the Middle East? Where does that place these religious communities within wider Christian discussions on language and religion?
(2) What other languages (varying from Arabic and modernized versions of the ritual languages to literary versions of vernacular dialects and to French, English and German) have gained important positions within these communities, and why is this the case? Are there important developments in the 19th and 20th centuries and how are these related to the changing importance of language in other communities, most particularly the role of Arabic in (local) Arab nationalism(s), pan-Arabism and Islamism?
These questions will be discussed against the background of the modernization and globalization processes as well as emerging and changing nationalisms of the nineteenth and twentieth century.
For more information, see the E-gids, or contact prof. Heleen Murre-van den Berg.
Picture: Ceiling of the Church of Mary, Reginae Palaestinae, Deir Rafat, Israel.