Elizabeth Marteijn has written a piece debunking five myths of Middle Eastern Christians. Also worth a read is the special issue of Studies in World Christianity 28.3 which focuses on Middle Eastern Christianity.
Heritage and Identity. Exploring the Middle East within World Christianity
Edited by Elizabeth S. Marteijn and Lucy Schouten
It is only fitting that Studies in World Christianity dedicates a special issue to the geographical region that is the cradle of Christianity: the Middle East. This region, spread across North Africa and West Asia, was the site of some of the most significant events in early church history. Jesus Christ was born in a village that is now the bustling Palestinian city of Bethlehem, and the holy Middle Eastern city of Jerusalem was the scene of his death, resurrection, ascension and, shortly thereafter, of the earliest missionary movement, when Jesus’ disciples ventured into the world to spread the Christian message. The apostle Paul received his vision of Jesus Christ on the way to Damascus – what is now the capital of Syria, and his voyages brought him to other places in the contemporary Middle East, mostly in what is now Turkey. The second-century prolific Church Father Tertullian wrote his apologetic and dogmatic literature from the ancient city of Carthage, which is now a neighbourhood in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis, and fourth-century Church Father Athanasius operated from what is now the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria. The birth of another famous fourth-century theologian and philosopher, Augustine of Hippo, happened in the ancient city of Thagaste in what is now modern Algeria. The missionary travels and theological teachings of these Middle Eastern figures, as well as others, were fundamental for the development of Christianity across different times and different places. The foundation of Christianity as a world religion lay, thus, in the Middle East.Continue reading
On March 9, 2021, colleagues from the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, held a roundtable discussion around the topic of “Decolonising Divinity.” Jointly sponsored by Religious Studies, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and World Christianity, the panelists were Drs Arkotong Longkumer, Shadab Rahemtulla, and Emma Wild-Wood, and moderated by Dr Alexander Chow.
If you are unable to access the video above from YouTube, you can also try watching it from the University of Edinburgh’s Media Hopper service.
2018 has seen the publication, on schedule, of the second volume in the series of Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity from Edinburgh University Press. Co-edited by Mariz Tadros, Todd M. Johnson and me, Christianity in North Africa and West Asia offers an account of the Christian presence in every country within these two UN regions.
Building on the success of EUP’s best-selling Atlas of Global Christianity, this series takes the analysis of worldwide Christianity to a deeper level of detail. It offers both reliable demographic information and original interpretative essays by indigenous scholars and practitioners. It maps patterns of growth and decline, assesses major traditions and movements, analyzes key themes and examines current trends.
Besides country-level analysis, the volume on North Africa and West Asia examines each of the major Christian traditions. Continue reading