Jewish-Christian Encounters Outside Europe

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No. 40 - Bochum, 19.03.2015

Jewish-Christian Encounters Outside Europe

ERC Grant for RUB Religious Studies Scholar

International Research Project at CERES Closes a Gap

The encounters and interactions between Jews and Christians in the Middle East, North Africa, India and the Caucasus, which have hitherto been only insufficiently researched, is the subject matter of the new project “Jews and Christians in the East: Strategies of Interaction between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean” (JEWSEAST), for which Professor Alexandra Cuffel from Bochum has been awarded a Consolidator Grant by the ERC – European Research Council. Over the coming five years, the research project will be funded with approx. two million Euros.

Sporadically researched to date

Under the umbrella of the project JEWSEAST, an international team headed by Professor Cuffel analyses in the ways which Jews and Christians outside Europe and the Byzantine Empire interacted and lived together after the Late Antiquity period. The results are intended to close a research gap: while the coexistence between European Jews and Christians is considered to be well researched, the interaction between Oriental-Orthodox Churches and Jewish communities has been only sporadically looked into. The researchers are going to study and evaluate manuscripts, books, headstone inscriptions and other archaeological artefacts in different languages, e.g. in Armenian, Arabic and Ancient Ethiopic.

About Alexandra Cuffel

Alexandra Cuffel has been Professor of Jewish Religion in Past and Present Times at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES). Her research focuses on the multiple relationships between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages. She obtained her PhD at New York University and worked as a researcher, for example, at Harvard Divinity School and as guest lecturer at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe”.

One of seven German projects

The research project at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of seven selected German projects in the field of social studies and humanities. The European Research Council ERC was set up by the European Union with the aim of supporting innovative fundamental research with lucrative grants.

Editorial journalist

Meike Drießen
Press Office Ruhr University Bochum

Further information

Ulf Plessentin, Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr-Universität, 44780 Bochum, phone: 0234 32 22056