Sarah Bakker Kellogg
Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationSan Francisco State U.
Grant numberGr. 9315
Approve DateOctober 4, 2016
Project TitleBakker Kellogg, Dr. Sarah Aaltje, San Francisco State U., San Francisco, CA - To aid research and writing on 'Liturgical Song in the Age of Digital Diaspora: Syriac Christians in Western Europe' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
SARAH AALTJE BAKKER KELLOGG, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2016 to aid research and writing on “Liturgical Song in the Age of Digital Diaspora: Syriac Christians in Western Europe.” The resulting manuscript, “Abraham’s Children” explores the place of kinship in twenty first century religious and racial politics from the perspective of Syriac Orthodox Christians, whose experiences as new citizens in Western Europe confound the racialized binary that equates Europe with Christianity and the Middle East with Islam. Centering on second- and third-generation Syriac youth in the Netherlands, this book examines intersections in Orthodox, Latin Christian, and secularist approaches to configuring kinship as the bedrock of social and political belonging. For Syriac Orthodox Christians in the Netherlands, kinship is not primarily understood in biological terms but as the liturgical embodiment of contested histories, borne in the religious sounds, smells, and bodily rhythms of the sung prayers of the eighteen hundred year old West Syriac Rite. As Syriac youth advocate for recognition from municipal, national, and supranational governments for their theologically saturated notion of ethnicity as the ethical embodiment of Christian history, the author argues, they reanimate ancient debates among imperial and anti-imperial strands of Christian thought over the proper dispensation between ritual community and political authority that continue to structure the grammar of political debate over ethnic, racial, and religious difference in Western Europe.