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Bethlehem's Syriac Christians (paperback)

Self, nation and church in dialogue and practice


An anthropological study of Syriac Orthodox Christian identity in a time of displacement, upheaval, and conflict. For some Syriac Orthodox Christians in Bethlehem, their self-articulation - the means by which they connect themselves to others, things, places and symbols - is decisively influenced by their eucharistic ritual. This ritual connects being siryāni to a redeemed community or 'body', and derives its identity in large part from the Incarnation of God as an Aramaic-speaking Bethlehemite.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4282-4
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Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Nov 30,2021
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 348
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4282-4
$60.00
Your price: $48.00

An anthropological study of Syriac Orthodox Christian identity in a time of displacement, upheaval, and conflict. For some Syriac Orthodox Christians in Bethlehem, their self-articulation - the means by which they connect themselves to others, things, places and symbols - is decisively influenced by their eucharistic ritual. This ritual connects being siryāni to a redeemed community or 'body', and derives its identity in large part from the Incarnation of God as an Aramaic-speaking Bethlehemite.

REVIEWS

"Mark Calder’s ethnography of Bethlehem's Syriac Christians is an essential text not only for scholars of Syriac Christianity, but for anyone interested in the fraught relationship between religious life and sociopolitical belonging, both in the Middle East and globally. With vivid ethnographic detail, incisive theorizing, lucid prose, and an inspiring vision of social research as ethical praxis, Calder’s text invites rigorous and reflexive engagement with some of the most difficult problems of modern political life. This work deserves to be considered a classic in the emerging anthropology of the Syriac World."

-- Sarah Bakker Kellogg, Ph.D., Lecturer Faculty, Sociology and Anthropology, San Francisco State University

An anthropological study of Syriac Orthodox Christian identity in a time of displacement, upheaval, and conflict. For some Syriac Orthodox Christians in Bethlehem, their self-articulation - the means by which they connect themselves to others, things, places and symbols - is decisively influenced by their eucharistic ritual. This ritual connects being siryāni to a redeemed community or 'body', and derives its identity in large part from the Incarnation of God as an Aramaic-speaking Bethlehemite.

REVIEWS

"Mark Calder’s ethnography of Bethlehem's Syriac Christians is an essential text not only for scholars of Syriac Christianity, but for anyone interested in the fraught relationship between religious life and sociopolitical belonging, both in the Middle East and globally. With vivid ethnographic detail, incisive theorizing, lucid prose, and an inspiring vision of social research as ethical praxis, Calder’s text invites rigorous and reflexive engagement with some of the most difficult problems of modern political life. This work deserves to be considered a classic in the emerging anthropology of the Syriac World."

-- Sarah Bakker Kellogg, Ph.D., Lecturer Faculty, Sociology and Anthropology, San Francisco State University

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ContributorBiography

Mark Calder

Mark Calder is a conflict advisor for an international aid organisation, and holds an honorary research fellowship at Durham University.

Table of Contents (v)
Acknowledgements (ix)
Preface (xi)
Introduction: From Bible-use to Bethlehem’s Syriac Christians (1)
   Palestinian use and disuse of the Bible (6)
   Defamiliarising Bible-use (13)
   Cohabiting textualities (26)
   Reframing research in response to the fieldwork encounter (29)
   Correspondents and interlocutors (32)
   Book organisation (35)
Chapter One: Articulating the Bethlehem Environment (41)
   Arrival (41)
   8 MPH sarḥāt (47)
   Reflections: displacement in situ? (77)
Chapter Two: Dialogues of displacement (91)
   Introduction (91)
   Dialogues with Abu Daoud (93)
   Five indicators of displacement (117)
   Reflections (124)
Chapter Three: Syrian narratives in the Bethlehem environment (127)
   Introduction (127)
   Narrative, selfhood and belonging (128)
   Narrative as picking up threads (141)
   Narrative and power (167)
   Reflections: unpicking, re-weaving and patching (172)
Chapter Four: Prayer and self-articulation in the Syriac Orthodox Eucharist (177)
   Introduction (177)
   The Qurbono and other Eucharists (179)
   First encounters with the Qurbono (180)
   Understanding the Qurbono as dialogue (185)
   Qurbono in the environment (199)
   Qurbono as “prayer” (201)
   Re-placing the self in the eucharistic environment (216)
   Dwelling in Qurbono: the monastic ideal (219)
   Eucharistic temporality (222)
   Reflections: drawing near to know (225)
Chapter Five: Authority and imagination in Syrian self-articulations (229)
   Introduction (230)
   The priest (230)
   The Association Controversy (238)
   Authority, communication and self-articulation (247)
   Christianity: from tradition to technologies (260)
   Reflections (268)
Chapter Six: “Who is Bob?” Towards an anthropology with ecclesiology (271)
   Arrival: the question before questions (272)
   Fieldwork and writing as hospitality (275)
   From hospitality to ecclesiology (279)
   Anthropology with ecclesiology? (290)
   Ecclesiological anthropology with Bethlehem Syrian self-articulations (296)
Afterword: What about power? (303)
Bibliography (305)
Index (329)

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