Foto van twee orthodoxe religieuze posters

Rewriting Global Orthodoxy

Oriental Christians in Europe, 1970-2020

Over the last 50 years, Oriental Orthodox Christians (Armenians, Copts, Syriacs/Arameans, Ethiopians and Eritreans) from the Middle East and Africa have settled in Europe, fleeing war-related violence and societal pressures. One of the prominent aspects of religious practice of these transnational Oriental communities is their strong emphasis on writing and publishing texts. These include traditional religious texts (from liturgy to history), re-translated and re-contextualised versions of these texts, and completely new texts.

From simple leaflets and books, to sophisticated internet productions including sound and image, these textual practices aim to transmit the religious heritage to a new generation in an increasingly globalised context. 

European integration

Scholarship has largely ignored these texts, because they are too popular or too modern for scholars of the written religious traditions, and too textual for social scientists working on these transnational communities. However, they make up a crucial source for the study of these communities’ European integration, especially as to the hybrid character of many of these traditions.

The project takes these textual practices as its main source to understand how Oriental Christians inscribe themselves in European societies and so contribute to the transformation of their own transnational churches as well as to that of Orthodoxy worldwide. 

Over the last 50 years, Oriental Orthodox Christians (Armenians, Copts, Syriacs/Arameans, Ethiopians and Eritreans) from the Middle East and Africa have settled in Europe, fleeing war-related violence and societal pressures. One of the prominent aspects of religious practice of these transnational Oriental communities is their strong emphasis on writing and publishing texts. These include traditional religious texts (from liturgy to history), re-translated and re-contextualised versions of these texts, and completely new texts. From simple leaflets and books, to sophisticated internet productions including sound and image, these textual practices aim to transmit the religious heritage to a new generation in an increasingly globalised context. 

Scholarship has largely ignored these texts, because they are too popular or too modern for scholars of the written religious traditions, and too textual for social scientists working on these transnational communities. However, they make up a crucial source for the study of these communities’ European integration, especially as to the hybrid character of many of these traditions. The project takes these textual practices as its main source to understand how Oriental Christians inscribe themselves in European societies and so contribute to the transformation of their own transnational churches as well as to that of Orthodoxy worldwide. 

Funding

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 834441 GlobalOrthodoxy).

Partners

Contact information

More information on this research study? Questions from the media may be directed to the science editor. All other questions may be directed to the researcher.

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