HomeChristianity in Iraq at the turn of Islam

Christianity in Iraq at the turn of Islam

Le christianisme au tournant de l'islam en Irak

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Published on Thursday, April 25, 2019 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

The collapse of the Persian Empire and the retreat of the Byzantine Empire after the Muslim conquest led to important institutional changes for the Christians of the conquered areas. In Iraq, the Church of the East was no longer limited by the Sassanian Empire ruled by the Zoroastrians and gained new opportunities to expand. Nevertheless, it is difficult to restitute the reality of this ancient Christianity and to assess the modifications resulting from the conquests.

Announcement

Argument

The collapse of the Persian Empire and the retreat of the Byzantine Empire after the Muslim conquest led to important institutional changes for the Christians of the conquered areas. In Iraq, the Church of the East was no longer limited by the Sassanian Empire ruled by the Zoroastrians and gained new opportunities to expand. Nevertheless, it is difficult to restitute the reality of this ancient Christianity and to assess the modifications resulting from the conquests. The architectural patterns of churches seem to attest two groups: northern Iraq and the Byzantine territories on the one hand, southern Iraq and the Arab-Persian Gulf on the other hand. But certain similarities between northern and southern Iraq appear in the material culture or the existence of burials with worship function (relics). It is difficult to link these differences and similarities with particular Churches, liturgies, and regional influences. Since the excavations of D.T. Rice in al‑Hira in the 1930s, recent archaeological projects as well as epigraphic and textual studies have documented Christianity after the conquests in Iraq and the Islamisation of the region. The workshop “Christianity at the turn of Islam in Irak” will offer the opportunity to review these recent discoveries.

Program

Saturday, May 4, 2019

8:30 AM Welcoming participants

9 AM Opening words:

  • Dr Ahmad Dezaye, President of Salahaddin University-Erbil
  • Patrice Leroy, Deputy General Consul of France in Erbil
  • Dr Kaify Ali, General Director of Antiquities
  • Dr Qader M. Hassan, Dean of the College of Arts, Salahaddin University-Erbil
  • Dr Aziz Zebari, Head of the Department of Archaeology, Salahaddin University- Erbil
  • Dr Dominique Pieri, Director of the Department of Archaeology and History of Antiquity, French Institute of the Near East (IFPO)
  • Dr Frédéric Imbert, Director of the Department of Arab, Medieval and Modern Studies, French Institute of the Near East (IFPO)

9:30 AM Introduction by Dr Narmin Ali Amin (Salahaddin University-Erbil), Dr Julie Bonnéric (CEFAS) & Dr Barbara Couturaud (IFPO)

10 AM Coffee break

Session 1. Textual Data

Chairman: Dr Qader M. Hassan

  • 10:30 AM Dr Nasser al Kaabi (University of Toronto), “Early Christian Responses to the Entry of Islam into Iraq. A Reading of the Syriac Sources” (AR) 
  • 11 AM Dr Simon Brelaud (CNRS), “Pilgrimages and Christianization in Mesopotamia: the Testimony of Syro-Oriental Martyrology (6th-8th centuries)” (FR)
  • 11:30 AM Noëmie Lucas (IFPO/Pantheon-Sorbonne University), “The Future of Christian Properties in Lower Iraq: Contributions to the History of Syro-Eastern Christianity in the Early Centuries of Islam” (FR)
  • 12 PM Dr Frédéric Alpi (IFPO), “The Correspondence of Severus of Antioch and Philoxenus of Mabbog with the Christians of al-Hira (Hirtha of Nu'man): Doctrinal, Institutional and Political Implications” (FR) 
  • 12:30 PM Discussion 

1 PM Lunch 

Session 2. Latest Archaeological Results in al-Hira Area

Chairman: Dr Julie Bonnéric

  • 2:30 PM.Dr Abbas al Hussainy (University of Al-Qadisiyah), “Archaeological traces of the spread of Christianity in South Mesopotamia” (AR)
  • 3 PM Dr Martin Gussone (Technical University of Berlin) and Dr Martina Mueller-Wiener (Goethe University Frankfurt), “Hira Survey Project 2015-2018, State of Research and First Results” (EN)
  • 3:30 PM Dr Haider Naji Atiyah (University of Kerbala), “Non-Islamic Architectural Remains as Traces of Civilization in the Provinces of Karbala and Najaf” (AR)
  • 4 PM Basim Jabbar (University of Al-Qadisiyah), “The Unpublished Excavations of Diwaniyah” (AR)
  • 4:30 PM Discussion

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Session 3. Christianity in the Sulaymaniyah Area

Chairman: Dr Barbara Couturaud

  • 9 AM Dr Kamal Rashid (Directorate of Antiquities in Sulaymaniyah) & Dr Narmin Ali Amin (Salahaddin University-Erbil), « Archaeological excavations at Bazyan » (EN)
  • 9:30 AM Dr Agnieszka Lic, “What do stucco from Bazyan (Iraqi Kurdistan) tell us about artistic contacts between Christian communities of northern and southern Mesopotamia in the early Islamic period?” (EN)
  • 10 AM Dr Narmin Ali Amin (Salahaddin University-Erbil), “Considerations on interesting features of churches in southern Kurdistan: the bema churches (Bazyan & Qala Shila)” (FR)
  • 10:30 AM Discussion

11AM Coffee break 

Session 4. Christianity in Northern Kurdistan

Chairman: Dr Narmin Ali Amin

  • 11:30 AM Dr Qader M. Hassan (Salahaddin University-Erbil), “Pre-Islamic Christianity in Erbil” (EN)
  • 12 PM Dr Aziz Zebari (Salahaddin University-Erbil) & Dr Zidan Bradosty (Salahaddin University-Erbil), “Some Christian Archaeological Remains Discovered in the Zibar Area (Field Study)” (AR)
  • 12:30 PM Dr Mohammad Yousifi (Directorate of Antiquities in Zakho), “The Deir Al-Zaafran Monastery / Deir Afnimarn” (AR)
  • 1 PM Discussion

1:30 PM Lunch

Session 5. Regional Comparisons

Chairman: Dr Dominique Pieri

  • 3 PM Dr Julie Bonnéric (CEFAS), “Monastic Communities in the Arabian Gulf and their Links with Lower Iraq” (FR)
  • 3:30 PM Dr Frédéric Imbert (IFPO/Aix-Marseille University), “Christian and Muslim Graffiti from the Beginnings of Islam on the Margins of Iraq: Traditions of Writing and Texts of Tradition” (FR)
  • 4 PM Dr Bertrand Riba (IFPO), “Archaeological Forms of Christianity in the Patriarchate of Antioch: Some Remarks on Mesopotamian Churches” (FR)
  • 4:30 PM Discussion
  • 5 PM Conclusion by Dr Narmin Ali Amin (Salahaddin University-Erbil), Dr Julie Bonnéric (Cefas) & Dr Barbara Couturaud (IFPO)

Closing words by Dominique Mas, General Consul of France in Erbil

Subjects

Places

  • Université de Salahaddin
    Arbil Governorate, Iraq

Date(s)

  • Saturday, May 04, 2019
  • Sunday, May 05, 2019

Keywords

  • Irak, christianisme, islam, monastère, église, conquête, musulman

Contact(s)

  • Barbara Couturaud
    courriel : contact [dot] irak [at] ifporient [dot] org

Information source

  • Julie Bonnéric
    courriel : bonneric [dot] julie [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Christianity in Iraq at the turn of Islam », Colloquium, Calenda, Published on Thursday, April 25, 2019, https://calenda.org/617777

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