North American Society for Christian Arabic Studies

Biographies Wanted

Readers are invited to contribute brief biographical accounts of themselves. Please let us know who you are and what you do. It would be especially useful if you would consider letting your colleagues know about your current projects. Please also consider sending a picture of yourself. Any snapshot will do: no need to worry about cropping or resizing the picture. Biographies and pictures may be sent to John Lamoreaux (jclam@mail.smu.edu) or Alexander Treiger (atreiger@dal.ca).


Researchers

Abjar Bahkou

Abjar Bahkou

Abjar Bahkou is adjunct professor of Arabic literature and language at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. He holds a doctoral degree in the Science of Education, from the Salisian Pontifical University in Rome. He is currently finishing his second doctorate, at the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome (PISAI). His dissertation is on Gerasimus the Monk (fl. 11th or 12th c.), and includes a partial edition and translation of his Kitab al-Kafi fi al-Ma'an al-Shafi, a defense of Christianity against Islam. Abjar has also published on the legend of the monk Bahira in Christian and Muslim sources, including an English translation of the Syriac version found in MS Mardin 295/2. You can contact him at frabjar72@yahoo.com


David Bertaina

David Bertaina

David Bertaina is Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion in the History Department at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He obtained his doctorate in Semitic Languages and Literatures from The Catholic University of America, focusing on Christian Arabic and Syriac. His teaching covers Eastern Christian history and literature during Late Antiquity and the medieval period. Dr. Bertaina is specifically interested in Muslim-Christian encounters and dialogue literature. His present research involves study and translation of ninth-century Muslim literary disputations with Christians.


Aaron Michael Butts

Aaron Butts

Aaron Michael Butts (BA Howard Payne, 2002; MTS Duke, 2005; MA University of Chicago, 2007; PhD Candidate at University of Chicago) is currently Lector of Semitics in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University. Among the Semitic languages, he specializes primarily in Aramaic (including Syriac) and secondarily in Arabic, Classical Ethiopic, and Northwest Semitic more broadly (Hebrew, Ugaritic, Phoenician, etc.). His research focuses on the dialectology and reconstruction of the Semitic language family. In addition, he has interests in the history and literature of Christianity in the Near East, including Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic Christianity.

He is currently working on two book projects that focus on Syriac. The first is a linguistic analysis of contact-induced change in Syriac due to Greek. The second is a description of the syntax of Classical Syriac, which will be published by Ugarit-Verlag in the series Lehrbücher orientalischer Sprachen (LOS). He is also currently co-authoring with L. Van Rompay a catalogue of the Ethiopic collection at Duke University as well as co-editing with S.P. Brock, G.A. Kiraz, and L. Van Rompay The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (forthcoming 2011). He can be contacted at aaron.butts@yale.edu. Further information is available at his web page.


Sidney H. Griffith

Sidney H. Griffith

Sidney H. Griffith is Ordinary Professor in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures at The Catholic University of America, where he works in Syriac and Christian Arabic. His publications are largely in the area of the history of Christian responses in Syriac and Arabic to the challenge of Islam in the early Islamic period, and the history, culture and theologies of the churches in the Oriental Patriarchates.


Kristian S. Heal

Kristian S. Heal

Since 2000, Kristian S. Heal has been a Research Scholar at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University, where he currently serves (since 2005) as the Director of the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. In this context he directs a research project that aims to create a comprehensive annotated corpus of Syriac literature (jointly with the Oriental Institute, Oxford). He also serves as co-editor (with Carl Griffin) of the Eastern Christian Texts series, and co-editor (with David Taylor) of the Library of the Christian East, both published by Brigham Young University Press.

Kristian took a BA in Jewish Studies and Hebrew from University College London, an MSt in Syriac Studies from Oxford (under Sebastian Brock) and a PhD from the University of Birmingham (supervised by Dr. David G.K. Taylor). His principle interest is in exploring the creative imagination in Syriac literature, within the broader context of the study of Syriac literature as literature. To this point his research has been focused largely on the reception of the Bible in the Syriac tradition, and his monograph on Genesis 37 and 39 in the Syriac Tradition will be coming out from Brill in the near future. He is currently preparing editions and translations of several Syriac texts on Joseph, as well as the works of the fifth century poet-theologian Narsai.


John C. Lamoreaux

John C. Lamoreaux

John C. Lamoreaux is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. He did his training at Duke University, with a focus on Late Antique Christianity and Islamic Studies. He has written on early Muslim intellectual history, later Greek patristics, and early Melkite literature in Arabic. He has recently finished a translation of the works of Theodore Abu Qurrah (Library of the Christian East, 2005). His edition and translation of Hunayn Ibn Ishaq's Treatise on his Galen Translations will be published shortly (Eastern Christian Texts). He is currently working on the textual tradition of the works of Theodore Abu Qurrah. He is also preparing a variety of editions and translations: a number of new works by Abu Qurrah, the hagiographical dossier of Palladius of Imma, the dialogue of Abu Ishaq and the Jew, and a collection of ninth-century Melkite letters. He can be contacted at jclam@mail.smu.edu. Readers are also invited to visit his website: johnlamoreaux.org.


Adam C. McCollum

Adam C. McCollum

Adam C. McCollum has recently earned a Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he studied Semitic languages and late Greek and Latin literature. He is especially interested in translations of Greek philosophical and patristic texts into Syriac and Arabic, and in biblical interpretation in Syriac and Arabic texts. He has recently translated one of Jacob of Sarug's homilies (forthcoming). In addition to a few smaller projects, Adam is currently working on an edition of the Syriac and Arabic versions of the pseudo-Aristotelian text known as the De Mundo and an English translation of Jacob of Edessa's Hexaemeron. He can be contacted at acmccollum101@gmail.com.


Samuel Noble

Samuel Noble

Samuel Noble is a doctoral candidate in Islamic Studies at Yale University. His dissertation is entitled "Muslim-Christian Polemic in 7th/13th Century Egypt." Additionally, Samuel is working with Alexander Treiger on a number of projects dealing with Arabic-speaking Orthodox Christianity, especially the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement of 11th-century Antioch. He received his BA in Linguistics at the University of Georgia and MA in Middle East Studies from the American University of Beirut. He can be contacted at samuel.noble@yale.edu.


Roger Pearse

Roger Pearse is an interested amateur. He is involved in getting patristic texts online and in English, and in promoting interest in them. This includes oriental texts in Syriac, Coptic, Arabic and Armenian, all of which contain material no longer extant in Latin and Greek. But he doesn't actually read most of these languages! He is best known as the editor of the Tertullian Project website, and the Additional Fathers collection of English translations not found in the Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers collection. He also writes a blog.

From time to time he commissions translations of untranslated texts into English. These include various collections of gnomologia in Christian Arabic, as well as homilies of Origen, and works by Eusebius (the latter with remains in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic and Arabic). He is also working himself on an English translation of the history of the Arabic Christian writer Agapius from French into English, translating some letters of Isidore of Pelusium (from Greek) and working on a machine-translator for patristic Greek to English. He would like to see Christian Arabic literature made much more accessible and much better known. He hates libraries that charge excessive sums for reproductions of unpublished manuscript material. If any of them will supply him with a reproduction of the unpublished Arabic Christian history of al-Makin, he might try to get bits of it translated.


Timothy B. Sailors

Timothy B. Sailors

Timothy B. Sailors has studied biblical studies and early Christian literature at the universities of Notre Dame (M.A.), Cambridge (M.Phil.), Tübingen (Dr.Theol.), and at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (visiting student). Following an undergraduate major in Ancient Languages, he first studied Syriac and Coptic at Notre Dame, then in Tübingen, where he also learned classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez) and classical Arabic. He has regularly incorporated Arabic witnesses into his scholarship and publications on early Jewish and early Christian literature. Timothy's primary research interest is pre-Nicene Christian literature in all its varieties, including those works originally composed in Syriac and those preserved in later translations into Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Christian Palestinian Aramaic, and Middle Persian. A preliminary portion of his next project was presented at the 2012 Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in Chicago in his paper "Early Christian Literature Preserved in Arabic Translation: The Significance of the Manuscript Witnesses." He can be contacted at t.b.sailors@uni-tuebingen.de.


Nikolai N. Seleznyov

Uriel Simonsohn

Nikolai N. Seleznyov is Associate Professor at the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow). He teaches the following courses: History of Ancient Aramaeans and Syriac culture (for students of philology of Ancient Syria and Palestine and Iranian philology) and History of Syriac Literature. His publications are mainly in the field of history of Syro-Arabic Christianity with special interest in the East-Syriac tradition. He can be contacted at nns@rsuh.ru. For his personal web-page, a list of his publications, and digital offprints, readers are invited to visit his website.


Uriel Simonsohn

Uriel Simonsohn

Uriel Simonsohn is a post-doctoral fellow at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his doctoral degree at the department for Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His dissertation deals with the question of Christian and Jewish recourse to extra-confessional judicial authorities in the early Islamic period. His present projects include a study of Saʿīd ibn Baṭriq’s Annales and an examination of the phenomenon of conversion to Islam in the first few centuries after the Islamic conquest, through a comparative analysis of Islamic, Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian legal sources from Mesopotamia. For further information, see http://huji.academia.edu/UrielSimonsohn.


Alexander Treiger

Alexander Treiger

Alexander Treiger is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He graduated from Yale University with a dissertation on the concept of "divine disclosure" (human knowledge about God) in the writings of the influential Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. He is currently editing his study on al-Ghazali for publication and finishing a number of small-scale projects on medieval Arabic philosophy, the Graeco-Arabic translation movement, and Eastern Syriac mysticism.

Dr Treiger's passion for Christian Arabic Studies goes back to his Master's thesis on the Arabic translations of the Dionysian Corpus. The thesis has now been reworked into two articles that appeared in Le Muséon (2005 and 2007). His current research in Christian Arabic Studies focuses on the history of the Orthodox Church in the Arab world. He is particularly interested in the multilingual intellectual milieu in the region of Antioch after the Byzantine reconquest of the city in 969. Together with Samuel Noble, he is editing and translating several key texts from that period, including theological works of the deacon Abdallah ibn al-Fadl, who was a prolific translator of Christian Greek works into Arabic, and the anonymous ascetic treatise The Noetic Paradise, originally written in Greek but preserved only in Arabic.

Alexander Treiger is the moderator of the NASCAS e-mail discussion list. He can be contacted at atreiger@dal.ca.