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Pro Oriente


Jänner 2008

23. Jänner 2008
PRO ORIENTE Studies of Syriac Tradition
  • Datum23. Jänner 2008
  • Ort
      Auhofstr. 10, 1130 Wien
  • SektionWien
  • StatusNicht öffentlich

PRO ORIENTE Studies of the Syriac Tradition

Press Release
On 18 and 19 October 2006 a meeting of 14 expert scholars from 9 countries of the Syriac Church tradition took place in Vienna. A new endeavour called „PRO ORIENTE Studies of the Syriac Tradition“ was started. For this purpose a Forum Syriacum has been formed which consists of an expanded circle of expert scholars in Syriac studies. The founding members of the Forum Syriacum are:
- Metropolitan APREM G. Mooken, India
- Metropolitan GREGORIOS Yohanna Ibrahim, Syria
- Metropolitan KURIAKOSE Theophilose, India
- Metropolitan Joseph POWATHIL, India
- Archbishop Jules Mikhael AL-JAMIL, Italy
- Archbishop Paul MATAR, Lebanon
- Archbishop Louis SAKO, Iraq
- Bishop Bawai SORO, USA
- Archdeacon Khoshaba GEORGES, Great Britain
- Father Frans BOUWEN, Israel
- Father Geevarghese CHEDIATH, India
- Father Baby VARGHESE, India
- Prof. Dietmar Winkler, Austria
- Dr. Aho Shemunkasho, Austria

- Mgr. Johan BONNY, Vatican (Observer)

From the beginning, PRO ORIENTE – as a foundation of the Archdiocese of Vienna has focused not only on the (Byzantine) Orthodox Church but has also included the Christian traditions of the Orient. In order for PRO ORIENTE to help the various churches of the Syriac tradition and to preserve their unique heritage which is of importance for the whole of Christianity, the Foundation has invited scholars and experts to study the East and West Syriac tradition.

This new Forum advises and consults the PRO ORIENTE Foundation to develop appropriate studies and helps to coordinate the research projects. Within the Forum Syriacum there should also be an exchange of current developments of the Syriac Churches, to strengthen the solidarity of those who belong to the Syriac tradition.

Concerning theme and method for research, PRO ORIENTE Forum Syriacum chooses topics for research and the appropriate approaches to study them. This includes individual studies, regional study groups in the Middle East, India and elsewhere, and the scholarly exchange in academic conferences called “PRO ORIENTE Colloquia Syriaca”.

The proceedings of the PRO ORIENTE Colloquia Syriaca as well as other related studies will be published in a new series called “PRO ORIENTE Studies of the Syriac Tradition”.

The Forum Syriacum has elaborated a work plan with research topics which include: Church history (i.e. non-theological factors for division and the common reading of history), Syriac Churches encountering other religions and other cultures (i.e. inculturation and immigration); and liturgy, spirituality and monasticism. At the first Colloquium Syriacum taking place in Vienna November 5-10, 2007 the following theme will be studied:
“Syriac Churches encountering Islam: past experiences and future perspectives”.
Thus the Forum Syriacum also reacts to the intrinsic and external challenges with which the Christians from the Middle East are confronted today.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PRO ORIENTE, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, paid a visit to the expert scholars assembled in Vienna. He welcomed and appreciated the new endeavour of the „PRO ORIENTE Studies of the Syriac Tradition“. He expressed his concern on the current difficult situation of the Christians in the Middle East, which again forces many of them to emigrate. The assistance of Cardinal Schönborn to the Christian refugees from the Middle East living in Vienna was mentioned with gratitude by the participants. Cardinal Schönborn emphazised the bridging function of those Christians in the region.

PRO ORIENTE Forum Syriacum
Vienna, October 19, 2006