The book addresses the history of Syrian Orthodoxy during a critical juncture of its history that spans the late Ottoman period and treads well beyond to witness remarkable revival, indeed renaissance. The work uniquely utilizes over 6000 uncatalogued and unpublished archival documents that were made available for it.
Black with Color Inserts
7 x 10
Despite the protection afforded to the minorities of the Ottoman Empire through the millet system, Syrian Orthodoxy witnessed weakness and depletion throughout the nineteenth century, caused by significant conversion to Western Christianity, particularly in Syria and in Iraq.
The events following the 1895 violence in southeastern Anatolia became precursors to the genocidal Safyo of 1915, which resulted in the annihilation of nearly half the Syrian Orthodox in Anatolia and brought Syrian Orthodoxy to the verge of extinction. The apathy of the victors of World War I towards the beleaguered survivors contrasted with the welcome the exiled survivors found in the Arab lands to the south, where historical affinity was rekindled.
From the safety of this new environment, Syrian Orthodoxy, led by enlightened individuals, was revitalized, drawing on a venerable Syriac cultural tradition and a patriarchal standing that was characteristically free from social elitism and tribal sectarianism. Utilizing the quest for learning that was widespread in the emerging new nation states, this new leadership, despite meager resources, launched Syrian Orthodoxy on a course of revival and renaissance not witnessed since the days of Bar Hebraeus in the late thirteenth century.
No study, in any language, has covered the history of the Syrian Orthodox Church over the designated period as fully as this current work, which it is hoped will fill a dire gap and break ground in new research. The basis for this study, in addition to published sources, has been approximately 6,000 relevant images that were filtered from a collection of over 24,000 uncatalogued, unedited and unpublished archival documents that were made available to the author.
Born in Mosul, Iraq, Khalid S. Dinno earned a doctorate in engineering from the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom. Upon his return to Iraq he taught and subsequently became head of one of the major engineering departments in the University of Baghdad. Interacting for nearly thirty years with students and fellow professors, but more importantly, with the Iraqi society at large provided him with a remarkable exposure to people of diverse social, religious and ethnic backgrounds. After emigrating to Canada in 1994 he became increasingly drawn to the diverse ethnic and religious history of his homeland, and earned an MA and a doctorate in the history of the Middle East from the University of Toronto.