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Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India


Contributions and Challenges


Edited by Dietmar W. Winkler
This volume acknowledges the contributions of Syriac Christians in the fields of culture, education and civil society throughout the history in the Middle East and India, and examines the challenges of living and professing the Christian faith as a minority in a multi-religious and pluralistic society, giving special attention to religious freedom and personal status.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0247-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Nov 20,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 182
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0247-7
$165.00
$115.50

Since its foundation in 1964 by the late Cardinal Franz König, PRO ORIENTE (Austria) has focused on the relationships between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Christian Churches. In order to help the various churches of the Syriac tradition and to preserve their unique heritage which is of importance for the whole of Christianity, the Foundation edits the “PRO ORIENTE Studies in the Syriac Tradition”. A team of expert scholars from the various Syriac Churches – the “PRO ORIENTE Forum Syriacum” – advises and consults the Foundation to develop appropriate studies and helps to coordinate the research projects.

The present volume acknowledges the contributions of Syriac Christians in the fields of culture, education and civil society throughout the history in the Middle East and India, and examines the challenges of living and professing the Christian faith as a minority in a multi-religious and pluralistic society, giving special attention to religious freedom and personal status. It deals with the experience of Christian-Muslim co-existence in the context of the present states of the Middle East, and with the experience of Christian-Hindu co-existence in India. The book also elaborates the vital problem of continuous emigration of Christians from India and the Middle East, which is particularly for the latter a serious problem and challenge. To support Christianity in the Middle East and the dialogue of the Churches among themselves and with Judaism and Islam, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Holy Land in 2009. Frans Bowen gives a profound analysis of the visit and the perspectives after the Pope’s visit in the last part of the book.

Since its foundation in 1964 by the late Cardinal Franz König, PRO ORIENTE (Austria) has focused on the relationships between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Christian Churches. In order to help the various churches of the Syriac tradition and to preserve their unique heritage which is of importance for the whole of Christianity, the Foundation edits the “PRO ORIENTE Studies in the Syriac Tradition”. A team of expert scholars from the various Syriac Churches – the “PRO ORIENTE Forum Syriacum” – advises and consults the Foundation to develop appropriate studies and helps to coordinate the research projects.

The present volume acknowledges the contributions of Syriac Christians in the fields of culture, education and civil society throughout the history in the Middle East and India, and examines the challenges of living and professing the Christian faith as a minority in a multi-religious and pluralistic society, giving special attention to religious freedom and personal status. It deals with the experience of Christian-Muslim co-existence in the context of the present states of the Middle East, and with the experience of Christian-Hindu co-existence in India. The book also elaborates the vital problem of continuous emigration of Christians from India and the Middle East, which is particularly for the latter a serious problem and challenge. To support Christianity in the Middle East and the dialogue of the Churches among themselves and with Judaism and Islam, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Holy Land in 2009. Frans Bowen gives a profound analysis of the visit and the perspectives after the Pope’s visit in the last part of the book.

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Contributor Biography

Dietmar Winkler

Dietmar W. Winkler is Professor of Patristic Studies and History of Christianity, chair of the Department of Biblical Studies and Ecclesiastical History and Director of the Center for the Study of Eastern Christianity at the University of Salzburg/Austria, Member of the board of Pro Oriente (Vienna) and responsible theologian for the dialogue with the oriental churches, Scholarly director of “Pro Oriente Studies in the Syriac Tradition”. Consultant of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Vatican) and a member of the Vatican’s Delegation in the official “International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches”

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preambles (page 7)
    • Cardinal Walter Kasper (page 8)
    • Cardinal Christoph Schonborn (page 9)
    • Pro Oriente President Johann Marte (page 10)
    • Syriac Churches: Contributions and Challenges - Editor's Note by Dietmar W. Winkler (page 11)
  • Part I: The Cultural, Social, and Educational Contributions of Syriac Christianity (page 15)
    • Cultural, social, and educational contributions of Syriac Christianity in South India by Baby Varghese (page 17)
      • The beginning of modern education (page 17)
      • Christians and the Malayalam language and literature (page 19)
        • Dictionaries and grammar books (page 20)
        • Printing and publishing (page 21)
        • Journalism and newspapers (page 22)
        • Literary contributions (page 24)
      • Christians in political life (page 25)
        • The first political organization by the Syrian Christians (page 26)
        • The League for Equal Rights (Paura Samtwa Vada League) (page 27)
        • The students' revolt in 1922 (page 28)
        • All Kerala Catholic Congress (AKCC) (page 28)
        • The State Congress in the Indian National Congress (page 28)
        • Abstention movement (page 29)
      • Syrian Christians and the economic development of Kerala (page 32)
        • Plantations (page 33)
        • Banking (page 34)
        • Industry (page 35)
      • Conclusions (page 36)
    • Christianity in Iraq and its contribution to society by Herman Teule (page 37)
      • Christians in Iraq: different Churches (page 38)
      • Christians in Iraq: different political orientations (page 42)
      • Security situation (page 47)
        • Kurdistan or Central Iraq? (page 48)
      • Christians in Iraq: which role in society? (page 51)
      • Conclusion (page 54)
  • Part II: The Challenges of Syriac Christianity: Religious Freedom and Pluralism (page 57)
    • Religious freedom, education, pluralism, and the personal status of Syriac Christianity in India by Philip Nelpuraparambil (page 59)
      • Indian Christians (page 59)
      • Christianity in Kerala (page 60)
      • Religious freedom as a constitutional right (page 61)
        • The role of Christians in the Constituent Assembly (page 62)
        • Religious rights according to the Constitution of India (page 62)
      • Educational Rights (page 65)
        • Cultural and educational rights in the Constitution (page 65)
      • India's pluralism (page 71)
        • The uniqueness of India's pluralism (page 72)
        • Religious pluralism in Kerala (page 72)
      • Personal status of the Syrian Christians (page 73)
        • Privileges granted to Christians (page 74)
      • Challenges Christians face (page 74)
      • Conclusion (page 75)
    • Religious freedom, education, pluralism, and personal status of Syriac Christianity in Syria and Turkey by Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (page 77)
      • Turkey (page 79)
      • Syria (page 80)
      • Family Law in Syria (page 83)
        • Religious courts in different denomiations (page 84)
      • Conclusion (page 85)
      • Appendix: Umar's Edict on the Dhimma (Protected communities) (page 86)
    • The contribution of Syriac Christians to Islamo-Christian co-existence in Lebanon by Mar Paul Matar (page 87)
      • Religious Liberty in Lebanon within the Syriac family (page 88)
      • Education and pluralism in the Syriac family's experiences of co-existence (page 92)
      • The Syriac family and personal status (page 95)
      • Conclusion (page 98)
  • Part III: The Emigration of Syriac Christians (page 101)
    • The emigration of Syriac Christians moving from India: motives and impact by Mar Theophilose Kuriakose (page 103)
      • The origin of Christianity and the Syrian Christians in India (page 103)
      • Kerala: a land of plurality and Syrian Christianity (page 106)
        • The social situation (page 106)
        • The religious situation (page 107)
        • The political situation (page 107)
        • Family life (page 107)
        • Education (page 108)
        • Migration (page 109)
        • The present reality (page 112)
        • The economical situation (page 113)
        • The religious situation (page 114)
        • The social situation (page 115)
        • Family status (page 115)
        • Europe (page 116)
        • United States of America (page 117)
        • Liturgical language (page 118)
        • Full time and well-trained clergy (page 118)
        • Arranged marriages (page 118)
        • Challenges ahead (page 118)
    • Christianity in the Middle East: some historical remarks and preliminary demographic figures by Dietmar W. Winkler (page 121)
      • Historical developments (page 121)
        • The decline after the Arab conquest to the end of the Mamluk period (seventh-sixteenth centuries) (page 121)
        • The growth in the Ottoman period (sixteenth to nineteenth centuries) (page 124)
        • The decline of Middle Eastern Christianity in the twentieth century (page 127)
      • Demographic Data (2009) (page 132)
        • Lebanon (page 133)
        • Jordan (page 134)
        • Syria (page 135)
        • Iraq (page 136)
        • Israel/Palestine (page 137)
        • Egypt (page 138)
        • Turkey (page 139)
    • The emigration of Syriac Christians from the Middle East: motives and impact by Martin Tamcke (page 141)
      • Preliminary Remarks (page 141)
      • Nineteenth century (page 144)
      • Since the 1960s (page 148)
  • Part IV: Perspectives after Pope Benedict's visit to the Holy Land (page 155)
    • Pope Benedict XVI in the Holy Land in 2009: a Pastor and a Man of Peace, of Unity, and of Dialogue by Frans Bouwen (page 157)
      • Preparations (page 157)
      • General impressions (page 158)
        • Benedict XVI, a pastor (page 158)
        • Benedict XVI, a man of peace (page 159)
        • Benedict XVI, a man of unity (page 160)
        • Benedict XVI, a man of dialogue (page 161)
      • Lasting images (page 162)
  • Part V: Appendices (page 165)
    • Third meeting of the Pro Oriente Forum Syriacum (page 167)
      • Communique - Aleppo, July 1-2, 2008 (page 167)
    • Second Pro Oriente Colloquium Syriacum Final Report (page 171)
      • Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India today: Contributions and Challenges (page 171)
        • Vienna, November 4-6, 2009 (page 171)
      • On Contributions of Syriac Christians (page 173)
      • On Challenges (page 175)
      • On Emigration (page 177)
    • Second Pro Oriente Colloquium Syriacum - Invited Participants (page 181)
      • Expert scholars from the Churches of Syriac Tradition (page 181)
      • External expert scholars (page 182)
      • Guests (page 182)
      • Pro Oriente (page 182)
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