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
Preliminary abstract: Among Syriac Orthodox Christian migrant communities in western Europe, liturgical performance is a site of controversy over how to be both an ethical Christian and a model secular citizen. This book project, entitled Liturgical Song in the Age of Digital Diaspora: Syriac Christians in Western Europe, is an ethnography of musical revival and religious reinvention among Middle Eastern Christian refugees and immigrants who have fled decades of violence in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon,and Iraq. In the vibrant cultural capitals of the global diaspora, the liturgy of the West Syriac Rite is a primary medium for aesthetic experimentation and ethical reinvention. After generations of violence, repression, and migration, most of the Church’s institutional knowledge and collective memory has either been destroyed or forgotten. But in parish churches and secular cultural organizations in the Netherlands and Germany, second- and third-generation Syriac Christians experiment with what remains of the sonic ritual art at the heart of their 1700 year old liturgical tradition in order to authorize new political orientations, family structures, and ethical dispositions. In this argument, Syriac Orthodox Christian sonic ritual art becomes a lens for making sense of broader public concerns over the politics of pluralism and religious pluralism in Europe.