Netherlands, Amsterdam

The Bible in the Syriac Tradition (one week)

when 22 July 2017 - 29 July 2017
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 500

One of the earliest translations of the Bible was a Syriac version, the Peshitta. Ever since, a biblical perspective has permeated all aspects of Syriac culture and tradition. In this course students learn how the Bible's reception and interpretation has been reshaped continuously by the ever-changing challenges facing Syriac Christianity. Students explore this fascinating biblical tradition under the guidance of top specialists from the Faculty of Theology at VU University Amsterdam and guest lecturers. VU University Amsterdam is a leading research centre on Syriac Christianity and related topics and home to the Peshitta Institute, an internationally renowned centre of expertise on Syriac Bible translations. Course features include a lecture from His Eminence Mor Polycarpus, Metropolitan and Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Netherlands of the Syriac Orthodox Church, and a visit to the Mor Sharbil Church in Amsterdam.

No knowledge of the Syriac language is needed for this course.

Course leader

Prof. Wido van Peursen

Target group

Students of Religious Studies, History, Social Sciences, Theology, Divinity, Classics and Philosophy. Also people involved in NGOs and GOs.

Course aim

You will gain a broad understanding of the most significant characteristics of Syriac Christianity, its history and theology.
You will learn about the relationships between Syriac Christianity and other forms of Christianity and Islam.
You will understand the complex interaction between continuity and transformation in the process of identity-formation in the case of Syriac Christianity.

Credits info

Contact hours: 25

Fee info

EUR 500: The tuition fee includes an airport pick-up service, welcome goodiebag, orientation programme, on-site support, 24/7 emergency assistance, and a transcript of records after completion of the course.

An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered.


The Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition fee of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the website.

Register for this course
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