Vanishing Christians of the Modern Middle East
The seminar examined the transformation of the Eastern churches into Arab-Christians in the modern history of the Middle East, their participation in the formation of the nation-state, their current decline, and the renewed call for their protection. It provided a brief survey of the early developments of Christian controversies, the encounter with Islam, with European hegemony and Pax Americana post World War II. It examined the prospects for the survival of Christianity in the Arab world in light of rise of Islamic fundamentalism and Christian emigration to the West. The seminar emphasized discussion and engagement with both primary sources and the interpretations of various scholars to prepare them to engage in rigorous historical inquiry and debate. Students were equipped to analyze and integrate historical evidence relating to politics and states, ethnicity and sectarianism, environment and society, culture and religion, gender and family. They acquired a strong foundation in historical knowledge and an ability to balance global and local perspectives and the ability to develop an original historical argument and to communicate complex historical arguments both in writing and orally. This course (HIST 463) was taught by Yvonne Haddad as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).
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