The Christian Orient : Introduction

lglor1523  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

The Christian Orient : Introduction
5.00 credits
22.5 h

  This biannual learning unit is not being organized in 2022-2023 !

Main themes
Students will be introduced to the countries, history and culture of people and communities in the Near East of Christian of Oriental (non-Catholic) Churches. Special regions with Aramaic population in Syria-Mesopotamia are brought into focus. The course introduces into several topics :
  1. countries and regions of Eastern Christian communities and their history from the 4th century to the pre-modern era ;
  2. Christian Oriental alphabets and literatures ;
  3. cultural urban centers (Alexandria, Antiochia, Edessa, Mosul, Baghdad, etc.) and important monastic places (in Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Persia, Egypt, Sinai, etc.) ;
  4. main historical features of Syriac Christianity in the Near East from the 4th century to modern times ; its former cultural impact in Central Asia, China and India.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 will have acquired knowledge about Christian (non-Catholic) communities in the Near East in their different geographic, historical and cultural setting;
2 use the main sources and reference books for carrying out (individually or in group) a small research topic and presenting it to the class ;
3 use the main reference works relating to the subjects  (dictionaries, corpus of sources, historical atlases, monographs, etc.).
Introduction to the Christian communities in the Near East, especially in Syria, Iraq and Persia, in their linguistic, cultural and geographical diversity. The course covers the following topics:
  1. The geographical setting of the Eastern Christian communities in their historical evolution from the 3rd century to the pre-modern period;
  2. Syriac writing and literature;
  3. The great urban and monastic cultural centres in Palestine/Israel, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persia;
  4. the main historical features of Syriac Christianity, its life under Islam, and its present situation;
  5. Its expansion and inculturation in Central Asia, China and India in Medieval Times.
Teaching methods
The course requires active participation of students and is intended to give the possibility for discussions. Students will carefully read the documents posted on Moodle, in order to prepare each session. The course is accompanied by ppt presentations.
Evaluation methods
For the final note, each student has to prepare an oral presentation (ca. 20 min) and to render an exposé on a topic of his choice. Active participation at the course is expected.
Online resources
The documents for each class are available on Moodle (bibliographies, documents, cartes…)
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Minor in Oriental Studies

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Minor in Medieval Studies

Minor in Literary Studies

Minor "Decentering History: Subalternities and postcolonial Studies"