lunedì, marzo 26, 2012

 

London: May 2012. A seminar day on martyrdom in the Iraqi Church: historic and modern perspectives

By Baghdadhope*

Centre of Eastern and Orthodox Christianity
DEPT for the STUDY of RELIGIONS
SCHOOL of ORIENTAL and AFRICAN STUDIES
UNIVERSITY of LONDON

in conjunction with
The British Institute for the Study of Iraq
&
Jerusalem and Middle Eastern Churches Association

Presents
CHRISTIANITY IN IRAQ IX

Martyrdom in the Iraqi Church: Historic and Modern Perspectives

SATURDAY 5th MAY 2012

to be held at The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

SCHOOL of ORIENTAL and AFRICAN STUDIES
Thornhaugh St., Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

For further details visit: www.easternchristianity.com

 Enquiries to:
Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter
Centre of Eastern and Orthodox Christianity
Dept. for the Study of Religions
SOAS
Thornhaugh St.
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
E-mail: eh9@soas.ac.uk

Christianity in Iraq IX: Synopsis

Martyrdom has been an inherent feature of Iraqi Christianity since its earliest days. The History of the Unknown Edessene recounts the martyrdom of the Sassanid prince Behnam and his sister Sarah, which reputedly took place in 352. This tale of royal child martyrs became the foundation myth for the establishment of the Monastery of Mar Behnam, which is still operating in northern Iraq today.
The widespread martyrdoms that took place during the reign of Shapur II (309-372) are commemorated in The Acts of the Persian Martyrs. Their hagiographies also provide much information about society under the Sassanids, especially the interaction between Christians and Zoroastrians. The Acts of the Persian Martyrs were written in Syriac, but Sogdian translations found at the monastery at Turfan attest their dissemination into Central Asia and further eastwards. The memory of persecution continued down the centuries. Elias, bishop of Nisibis (975-1046) wrote about the martyrdoms
in his work, Chronography.
Sadly, martyrdom is not just an historical phenomenon for the Christian communities in modern Iraq. Since 2003, 66 churches have been bombed, innumerable faithful and several priests, including the Chaldaean archbishop
Faraj Rahho
have been martyred. The level of violence escalated to an unprecedented degree with the massacre at ‘Our Lady of Salvation’ Church in Baghdad during Mass on Sunday 31st October 2010. 58 faithful, (including a 3
year old boy) and 2 priests were martyred. As the events of 9/11 have been indelibly engraved in the minds of many people in the West, 31/10 has assumed a similar role for Iraqi Christians. How Iraqi Christians will accommodate this
watershed event still remains to be seen.

PROGRAMME

Morning Session.
[10.30 A.M. – 1.00 P.M.]

The morning session will consist of four papers
exploring historic aspects of martyrdom
Prof. Cornelia Horn (St. Louis, Missouri)
Child martyrs in Syriac Literature.
Prof. Desmond Durkin Meisterernst (Berlin)
Sogdian Versions of the Acts of the Persian
Martyrs.
Prof. Francois de Blois (Cambridge)
Elias of Nisibis on the Martyrs of the Church of
the East.
Prof. Richard Payne (Mt. Holyoke, Massachusetts)
Did the Sassanids persecute Christians?

LUNCH

Afternoon Session.
[2.00 – 4.30 P.M.]

The afternoon session explores martyrdom in
modern communities of the Iraqi churches.

Dr. Suha Rassam (ICIN) will discuss:
The impact of martyrdom on Iraqi Christians
post-2003.

Dr. Suha Rassam is one of the founders of ICIN (Iraqi Christians in Need).
This address will be followed by discussions and presentations from the various Christian communities in London.

Christianity in Iraq IX: Application Form

NAME(S):
ADDRESS:
Day time tel.no.
e-mail address:

Please circle fee enclosed

Full
£30.00
BISI Member
£25.00
JAMECA Member £25.00
Student
£12.00*
*Please send proof of student status.

Includes lunch, tea/coffee.

Do you require disabled access? Yes/No
Please send this form with your
remittance by Tuesday May 1st
(cheques payable to Dr. Erica Hunter):
Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter,
Centre of Eastern and Orthodox Christianity,
Dept. for the Study of Religion,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
LONDON WC1H 0XG

You can also register and pay on-line at
www.easternchristianity.com

For further details, please write to the above
address or contact by e-mail.

e-mail: eh9@soas.ac.uk

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