Professor of theology invited to present at conference in Turkey

Posted February 16, 2012

Dr. Jeff W. Childers, Carmichael-Walling Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at ACU, has been invited to speak at the first Syriac Studies Symposium, to be held in April at Mardin Artuklu Üniversitesi in Mardin, Turkey. The conference will launch the university's Syriac studies program. 

Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Syrian Christian communities date back to the earliest days of Christianity, and the Syriac language is still spoken in Turkey today. Mardin, where the conference will be held, is located in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border and is one of the oldest surviving centers of Syriac-speaking Christianity.

Childers' journey to the conference began in 2009, when several faculty from the College of Biblical Studies visited Mardin and met with religious and civic leaders about the launch of a Syriac studies program. The governor of Mardin Province told Childers of his dream to make Mardin (both the province and the city) a global model of various ethnic and religious groups working together.

"As the university inaugurates this new program, I am glad to be one of a number of international scholars invited to see how it is working, and also to come help them celebrate," Childers reports. He also will present a paper, Constructing the Syriac Chrysostom: The Transformation of a Greek Orator into a Native Syriac Speaker, at the symposium.

 Learn more about the research being done by faculty in the Graduate School of Theology.