Keynote Speakers

Aaron M. Butts

Aaron Butts

Aaron Butts’ research and teaching focus on Christianity in the Near East, including especially Arabic, Ethiopic, and Syriac. He also has interests in the intersections and interactions of Christians with Jews and Muslims. Butts has published over one hundred items, including more than ten volumes and thirty peer-reviewed journal articles. His research has been supported by membership at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ) and by an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. At the University of Hamburg, Butts is currently directing a five-year project entitled “BeInf – Beyond Influence: The Connected Histories of Ethiopic and Syriac Christianity”, which is funded by a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Beyond Influence: The Connected Histories of Ethiopic and Syriac Christianity




Muriel Debié

Muriel Debie

Muriel Debié is Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études-PSL and a senior membre at Institut universitaire de France (IUF) in Paris. She is a specialist of Syriac studies. Her last book Alexander the Great in Syriac. From Greek Romance to Christian Apocalypses and the Qur’an (in French) is in press. The English translation of the book she co-authored with Françoise Briquel Chatonnet, Le Monde syriaque, is due at the beginning of June at Yale University Press.

Homer in Edessa. The Transfer of Classical Culture in Syriac







Ute Possekel

Ute PossekelUte Possekel is Lecturer on Syriac at Harvard Divinity School. Her research and teaching interests focus on Syriac language and the history of Syriac-speaking communities, especially their cultural and religious expressions, their theology, and their interaction with neighboring linguistic and religious communities. Her publications include a monograph on Ephrem the Syrian and articles on diverse topics, including christology, the philosopher-theologian Bardaisan of Edessa, ancient mosaics with inscriptions, the School of Nisibis, and the Christians and pagans in Harran. Her current project is a co-authored text edition and translation of sixth-century treatises on Nativity and Epiphany, titled Thomas of Edessa’s Explanations of the Feasts: Liturgy, Learning, and Exegesis in Late Antique Persia, Oxford Early Christian Texts (forthcoming). Possekel serves as Review Editor for Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies.

Severus of Antioch and the Consolidation of Miaphysite Orthodoxy




Hidemi Takahashi

Hidemi Takahashi

Hidemi Takahashi is professor in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo and is currently also director of the University of Tokyo Centre for Middle Eastern Studies. He began his career in Syriac studies with his research on the works of Barhebraeus. He has in more recent years been publishing in a number of other fields within Syriac studies, including Syriac Christianity in Central Asia and China and the use of Armenian Garshuni.

On the Peripheries of Syriac Studies: Syriac Christianity and Syriac Language in Contact with Others