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University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)
Joseph P. Amar (Project Director: March 2006 to September 2008)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$138,334 (approved)
$138,334 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007

The Middle East between Rome and Iran: Early Christianity and the Path to Islam

A six-week seminar for fifteen college and university teachers on the development of indigenous cultures in the Middle East during late antiquity and their relationship to the rise of Islam.

The University of Notre Dame seeks support for a six-week summer seminar for College and University teachers from June 13 to July 29, 2007, led by Joseph P. Amar, Professor of Arabic and Syriac, and Robin Darling Young, Associate Professor of Theology (Early Christianity). The Seminar will draw on the literature and material culture of the region to explore the ways in which the resurgent indigenous cultures there--Arabic, Syriac, and Armenian--re-emerged with the decline of local Hellenism to form a population that would in the seventh century be receptive to a new political and religious hegemony. Once a region secure in its domination by western culture, language and religion, the Middle East of late antiquity became a fungible border area allowing for the passage, conquest and settlement of the dayr 'ul Islam. We intend to explore how the native Christianities of the region made such a conquest possible.