Workshop: ‘From Oriens Christianus to the Islamic Near East’


About The Event

Theological, Historical and Cultural Cross-pollination in the Eastern Mediterranean of Late Antiquity

Date: December 7-8, 2017

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, Kaiserswerther Str. 16-18, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Admission: Free and open to all interested specialists and PhD students

The workshop seeks to shed new light on the crossroads at which the Late Antique world of the Eastern Mediterranean heralded diverse exchanges between Oriental Christendom, Byzantine culture and the Islamic world. Furthermore, how these exchanges impacted the development of diverse regions, cultures, languages, and religions.

The workshop will provide an inter-disciplinary overview of the various perspectives emerging from the Christian Oriental, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Archaeological approaches to this area of research. The key objective of the workshop is to explore the possibilities of a unified and holistic approach to understanding the “Sattelzeit” (R. Koselleck)  i.e. the period between 500 and 750 CE. While the scope of the workshop has been intentionally left broad, the papers will primarily focus on the following areas:

  • The role of Eastern/Oriental Christians in the relationship(s) formed between the Islamic Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire.
  • Scripture and Arts as a medium of interchange between Christians and Muslims.
  • The historical narratives and administrative reality of the expansion of the Islamic Empire.

We hope that the workshop will encourage fruitful discussions about the state-of-the-art of the field and highlight potential areas for future inquiry. We further expect the workshop to provide a platform for both established researchers in the field and early-career academics (including advanced Ph.D. students). The workshop proceedings will be published in an edited volume by Gorgias Press.

For further information about the workshop, please contact Manolis Ulbricht:


Workshop Program

  • Introductory Note by Mr Manolis Ulbricht, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Early Shiʿism as a Late Antique Religiosity: Some Preliminary Remarks by Dr Ahab Bdaiwi, Leiden University
  • The Practice of Empire: The View from Khurāsān by Mr Ahmad Khan, Universität Hamburg
  • The Sophistication of Arguments in Theodore Abū Qurra’s Dialogues with Muslims by Professor Dr Reinhold F. Glei, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Who Wrote the last Greek Documents in Islamic Egypt? by Dr Lajos Berkes, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Conference Edited Volume (Discussion of formalities)
  • Keynote speech by Professor Dr Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis, Chair of Byzantine Studies at the Institute for Greek and Latin Philology, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Confronting Ambiguity: Scripture and the Emergence of Self-Definition Under Early Islam by Professor Dr Aaron Hughes, University of Rochester
  • A Tale of Two Conquests: A Local Historian’s View of Islamic Conquest and Byzantine Reconquest Along the Northern Mesopotamian Frontier by Dr Harry Munt, University of York
  • The Tabūk Expedition Revisited by Mr Adam Walker, Radboud University
  • The End of Muʿāwiyah’s Reign and that of the Whole World: Retrospective Overview of John Bar Penkāyē Ms Yulia Furman, Russian State University for the Humanities
  • Theology as History in the Heresiology of John of Damascus by Professor Dr Peter Schadler, Dickinson College

Source: Gorgias Press

  • Cost: Free
  • Total Slot: 0
  • Booked Slot: 0

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Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin, Kaiserswerther Str. 16-18, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Our Speakers

Adam Walker
Dr Ahab Bdaiwi
Dr Harry Munt
Dr Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis
Dr Peter Schadler
Manolis Ulbricht
Mr Ahmad Khan
Professor Dr Aaron Hughes
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