Modernity, Minority, and the Public Sphere

Jews and Christians in the Middle East


Modernity, Minority, and the Public Sphere: Jews and Christians in the Middle East explores the many facets associated with the questions of modernity and minority in the context of religious communities in the Middle East by focusing on inter-communal dialogues and identity construction among the Jewish and Christian communities of the Middle East and paying special attention to the concept of space.This volume draws examples of these issues from experiences in the public sphere such as education, public performance, and political engagement discussing how religious communities were perceived and how they perceived themselves. Based on the conference proceedings from the 2013 conference at Leiden University entitled Common Ground? Changing Interpretations of Public Space in the Middle East among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the 19th and 20th Century this volume presents a variety of cases of minority engagement in Middle Eastern society.

With contributions by: T. Baarda, A. Boum, S.R. Goldstein-Sabbah, A. Massot, H. Müller-Sommerfeld, H.L. Murre-van den Berg, L. Robson, K.Sanchez Summerer, A. Schlaepfer, D. Schroeter and Y. Wallach
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S.R. Goldstein-Sabbah is a Ph.D. candidate at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She is a member of the Arabic and its Alternatives: Religious Minorities in the Formative Years of the Modern Middle East (1920-1950) research project funded by the Netherlands Research Council (NWO). Her research interests focus on the history of Jews in the Arab World. Prior to her doctoral research she worked in academic publishing.

Since June 2015, H.L. Murre-van den Berg (Ph.D. Leiden University, 1995) serves as the director of the Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen. Earlier, she taught history of World Christianity at Leiden University. She has published extensively on Christianity in the Middle East, especially on the Syriac/Assyrian traditions and the interactions between Western and Middle Eastern Christians in the period from 1500 onwards. The current volume results from a research project funded for by the Netherlands Research Council (NWO): Arabic and its Alternatives: Religious Minorities in the Formative Years of the Modern Middle East (1920-1950).


Part 1: A Chronology of Space

Searching for Common Ground: Jews and Christians in the Modern Middle East by H.L. Murre-van den Berg

The Changing Landscape of Muslim-Jewish Relations in the Modern Middle East and North Africa by D. Schroeter

Part 2: Arabic and Its Alternatives

Standardized Arabic as a post-Nahḍa Common Ground: Mattai bar Paulus and his Use of Syriac, Arabic, and Garshuni by T. Barda

Jewish Education in Baghdad: Communal Space vs. Public Space by S. Goldstein-Sabbah

Preserving the Catholics of the Holy Land or Integrating Them into the Palestine Nation (1920–1950) By K. Sanchez Summerer

Part 3: Urban Presence

Ottoman Damascus During the Tanzimat: The New Visibility of Religious Distinctions by A. Massot

The King is Dead, Long Live the King! Jewish funerary performances in the Iraqi public space by A. Schlaepfer

Jerusalem Between Segregation and Integration: Reading Urban Space through the Eyes of Justice Gad Frumkin by Y. Wallach

Part 4: Transnationalism

Refugee Camps and the Spatialization of Assyrian Nationalism in Iraq by L. Robson

The League of Nations, A-Mandates and Minority Rights during the Mandate Period in Iraq (1920–1932) H. Müller-Sommerfeld

“Soundtracks of Jerusalem”: YouTube, North African Rappers, and the Fantasies of Resistance by A. Boum


Contributor Biographies
All interested in the history of the modern Middle East, and anyone interested in questions of Minority, Identity, and the public sphere.
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