New lecturer in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
The School of Divinity are delighted to announce that Dr Salam Rassi has been appointed as a new lecturer in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.
Dr Rassi is just coming to the end of a BA post-doc at the University of Oxford where his research focuses on historical and philosophical encounters between Christians and Muslims living in the mediaeval Islamicate World. He earned his doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2016, and has since held research and teaching positions at the American University of Beirut and the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Minnesota.
His research focuses on two interconnected areas: (i) the history of theological encyclopaedism among Syriac and Arabic-speaking Christians in the medieval Islamicate World and (ii) the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy. The first—theological encyclopaedism—examines a widespread genre of literature produced by Christian communities in the medieval Middle East: the summa theologica, or summary expositions of the Christian faith. These texts provide key insights into how authors articulated a Christian world view within a broader, non-Christian religious setting. The second—the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy—focuses on the impact of Avicenna’s metaphysics on the philosophical and theological oeuvre of Barhebraeus (d. 1285/6), a near contemporary of Thomas Aquinas and of comparable significance to the Syriac Orthodox tradition.
Salam Rassi will take up his role in August of this year.
I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the School of Divinity’s community of diverse and outstanding scholars. Among other things, my work focusses on Syriac and Arab Christianity—two marginalised and relatively understudied religious traditions. At the School, I hope to bring these traditions into wider conversations with Islam and neighbouring religions. Encounters between Christianity and Islam in theology and philosophy matter a great deal in the history of religion, but they also have a lot to say about interreligious relations today. I’m looking forward to taking up the challenge of promoting the study of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations in both historical and contemporary contexts, working closely with colleagues and students at Edinburgh.