Eastern Christian Studies

Eastern Christian Studies

Eastern Christian Studies investigates how Eastern Christianity defined itself in relation to the Jewish and Greco-Roman religious, philosophical, rhetorical, social, and cultural heritages in the Early Church, and how Eastern Christianity later defined itself in the various contexts of history. This includes attention to the reception, appropriation, and transformation of Classical and Jewish thought-systems and ways of life, as well as later world-views that the various Eastern Churches adopted on their way to the present. Related important areas of research are the exploration of the processes associated with the reception of Sacred Scripture, and the growing power of the Church in ancient society, the problems inherent with the rise of the Christian Empires, the impact of the Islamic world and modern nationalism. Eastern Christian Studies explores the content of the various Eastern traditions from the perspectives of the biblical interpretation, patristic literature, liturgical traditions and an ecclesiology with a variety of scholarly methods.

Among the prominent features of Eastern Christian Studies at Stockholm School of Theology are the Early Church, Monastic life and thoughts, the use of the Bible in the Liturgy, Arabic Christianity (especially the encounter with Islam and the Quran), International Relations and Orthodox Unity, Public and Systematic Ecclesiology, and the function of the Liturgy. We also cover a variety of traditions such as Western and Eastern Syriac, Ethiopic traditions, Coptic, and Byzantine (both Greek and Slavic). A common understanding among our scholars is critical enquiry as a mechanism of progression. A variety of methods are used to unravel the past in relation to its historical context and to interpret and understand the present condition of the Church as a juxtaposition between history and the socio-cultural position of the Church today.

Samuel Rubenson, in his capacity as Professor at Lund University, is heading a large research project that aims at mapping the reception of the sayings of the desert in medieval European manuscripts (ca. 800-1500) with a focus on the Greek and Latin versions and their translations into Old Church Slavonic and Old Nordic. The purpose is to investigate what similarities and dissimilarities in selections and characteristics of transmission can tell us about the historical conditions, contacts and trends in medieval education, in order to contribute to a better understanding of how classical and early Christian moral formation was received in Western as well as Eastern Europe. Miriam Lindgren Hjälm works in a four year project, financed by Swedish Research Council, in proximity with Biblical Studies at Stockholm School of Theology, where she examines how the Bible is understood and used in early Arabic texts, including how the Bible canon evolved and appear to have worked in practice, and how Jews, Christians and Muslims indeed poached against each other in the struggle for the biblical legacy while exchanging both approaches and concrete interpretations. Cyril Hovorun has recently focused on Public Ecclesiology trying to understand how the Church adopts secular ideologies within its ecclesial context, and how the basic structure of the Church appears through history.

Teachers, Scholars and Doctoral Students

Polycarpus Augin Aydin, visiting Senior Lecturer
Bar-Sawme, Gabriel, Doctoral Student & visiting Lecturer
Gobena, Abate, Doctoral Student
Hayati, Said, Doctoral Student
Hjälm, Michael, Senior Lecturer
Hovorun, Cyril, Senior Lecturer
Kitchen, Robert, Senior Lecturer
Lindgren Hjälm, Miriam, Senior Lecturer
Rubenson, Samuel, Professor