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Colloquium Syriacum

Consultations with the Churches of the Syriac Tradition

Research into the history, spiritual, and cultural heritage of the churches of the Syriac tradition, as well as their relations with other cultures and religions, is the focus of the scholarly conferences organised by PRO ORIENTE's Forum Syriacum.


PRO ORIENTE supported the ecumenical exchange between the nine churches of the Syriac tradition from the Middle East and India particularly from 1994 to 2005. This took place within the framework of the unofficial consultations for the dialogue of the churches of Syriac tradition, which significantly influenced the beginning of the official dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the churches of the Syriac tradition. The proceedings of the scholarly conferences were published in the series Syriac Dialogue, and are considered to this day to be milestones in the ecumenical dialogue with the churches of the Syriac tradition. After the Forum Syriacum was established, the decision was made to hold scholarly conferences called Colloquium Syriacum.

Mode of Operation and Aims

The Colloquium Syriacum focuses on scholarly exchange between experts in the history, language, and theology of the churches of the Syriac tradition, and representatives of these churches from the Middle East and India. The topics and the speakers are suggested by the Forum Syriacum. The aim is to deepen scholarly knowledge about the cultural, theological, spiritual, and liturgical particularities of these churches, thereby strengthening ecumenical relations.

Results and Evaluation

Due to the difficult political and demographic situation in the Middle East, the first three Colloquia Syriaca (2007-2013) were devoted to the encounter with Islam. They focused on the encounter with Islam in history and with the development of future prospects. The experts from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the USA, Great Britain, India, and the Netherlands contributed to a better understanding of history, and the proceedings were published in the series PRO ORIENTE Studies in the Syriac Tradition.

For the forthcoming conferences in November 2014, the Forum Syriacum has decided to return with particular attention to the following theological issues:
- The spirituality of the churches of the Syriac tradition
- Relations with the diaspora churches
- Pastoral cooperation