Dr Noriko Sato

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noriko_satoDr. Noriko Sato (Pukyong U, South Korea) ‘Syrian Orthodox Christians’ (2001)

The contemporary Syrian Orthodox Christians in Syria seek to reconstruct their political and social identities within the broader perspective of nationalism, religion, language, and ethnicities in order to secure their political rights. As religious multiculturalism is considered to be a fundamental part of Syrian society, Syrian Orthodox Christians claim that their religion, whose liturgical language is Syriac-Arimaic, which is one of the ancient languages of Syria, forms part of this religious cultural heritage of Syria. Their religion and language demonstrate the origin of their community and its endurance in Syria since ancient times. Yet, they fear that their political rights are in danger of being denied, because many of them have refugee origin and have little knowledge of their liturgical language, which is essential to prove their Syrian origin. Moreover, the Syrian Orthodox Christians who fled from Iraq to Syria in the aftermath of the Iraq War identify themselves as Arabic speaking Christians. They have brought about an identity crisis among the existing community in Syria.


2010. “Kinship and Politics among Orthodox Christians in Syria,” Journal of 21st Century Political Science Review, Korea vol. 20 (1): 261-285.

2007. “Formation of Group Identity among Syrian Orthodox Christians: State Politics and Historical Narratives,” Journal of Mediterranean Area Studies vol.9 (2): 219-243. Busan: Pusan University of Foreign Studies.

2007. “Constructing a group identity within the Syrian nation: Religious multiculturalism and musical practices among Syrian Orthodox Christians,” Journal of the 21st Century Political Science Association, Korea vol. 17 (2): 231-258.

2007. “Stereotypes of Terrorism and National Identity in Syria,” Cross-Cultural Studies vol. 13 (2):73-109. Seoul: The Institute for Cross-cultural Studies Seoul National University.

2007.  “Histoire et Identité : le cas des Chrétiens Syriaques,” In La Syrie au présent : reflets d’une Société. Dupret, Boudouin,Ghazzal, Souhair, Courbage, Youssef, and Al-Dbiyat, Mohammad eds. Paris:Sindbad.

2006.  “Reconstruction of History and Formation of Group Identity among Syrian Orthodox Christians in the Jazirah,” Korean Cultural Anthropology Vol. 39(2): 239-266.

2006. “Formation of Christian Identity in Contemporary Syria,” International Area Studies Review vol.10 (2):12-33, Seoul: International Association of Area Studies, Korea.

2005. “Selective Amnesia: Memory and History of the Urfalli Syrian Orthodox Christians.”  Identities vol. 12(3): 315-333.

2003. “On the Horns of the Terrorist Dilemma: Syrian Christians’ Response to Israeli “Terrorism”,” History and Anthropology vol. 14 (2): 141-155.