Ephrem Aboud Ishac

Affiliated researcher

Research interests

Theology and History of Christianity in the Middle East. Syriac Liturgy and Synods, with a specific focus on studying their manuscript heritage, within the scope of digital humanities.

Education, academic and professional experience

He is a researcher at the University of Graz - Vestigia Manuscript Research Center. He teaches Syriac language at the Central European University in Vienna.

Since November 2017, he is the editorial coordinator for the forthcoming FSCIRE edition on the East and West Syriac synods COGD: Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Generaliumque Decreta (volumes V/1 and V/2).

He is the editor of Syriac studies for «The Digital Orientalist», and a member in the editorial boards for: «The Syriac Annals of the Romanian Academy» and «The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Journal». He is also an area editor and an advisor for Beth Mardutho - The Syriac Institute, New Jersey.

In 2020 he was a research fellow at Yale University - Institute of Sacred Music, New Haven, studying the Syriac manuscripts and archives at the Beinecke Library and the Yale Divinity School.

From November 2017 to December 2019, he was a senior post-doctoral fellow at FSCIRE, focusing on the Syriac synods according to their original manuscripts, and on the history of ecumenism in Syria.

Between 2015 and 2018, he taught the liturgical courses at the MA program of Syriac Theology of Salzburg University. He has been also a guest lecturer on Christianity in the Middle East at the Institute of Ecumenical Theology and Patristics at Graz University, in addition to several summer schools and workshops on Syriac and Arabic manuscripts in Europe, United States and the Middle East.

Between 2014 and 2016, he was a postdoc researcher at the University of Graz - Vestigia Manuscript Research Center, editing the Syriac liturgical texts of Anaphoras according to manuscripts.

In 2013 he defended his PhD thesis on Syriac liturgy at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik - Lebanon, which was followed by postdoctoral fellowships in United States and Europe. In 2008, he obtained his MA degree in General Theology from St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, New York, USA.

Featured publications


E.A. Ishac, A Journal of Two Cities: «Proche-Orient Chrétien» from Jerusalem to Beirut, «Cristianesimo nella storia» 41, 1 (2020), pp. 295-321.

E.A. Ishac, Mor Jacob of Edessa’s Anaphora [in Arabic], «The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Journal» 53 (2015), pp. 15-45.

E.A. Ishac, Jacob of Edessa’s Hexaemeron: A Preliminary Comparison with Basil of Caesarea’s Hexaemeron, «Parole de l’Orient» 38 (2013), pp. 109-138.

Volumes edited

He is co-editor of volumes V/1 and V/2 of COGD: Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Generaliumque Decreta (Corpus Christianorum), Synods of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Church of the East, Turnhout, Brepols (forthcoming).

E.A. Ishac, T. Csanády, T. Zammit (eds.), Tracing Written Heritage in a Digital Age, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2021.

Chapters in books

E.A. Ishac, Hidden Syriac Manuscripts at Yale, in Tracing Written Heritage in a Digital Age, eds. E. Ishac, T. Csanády, T. Zammit, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2021, pp. 159-194.

E.A. Ishac, Being Christians together? The Situation of Ecumenism in the Middle East. An Institutional Perspective, in Thinking about Christian Life in the Turmoil Times of the Middle East, eds. M. Tamcke, Göttingen, C. Rammelt, 2020, pp. 67-94.

E.A. Ishac, From Ancient Manuscripts to Digital Screens: Syriac Liturgy in Digital Humanities, in Empowering the Visibility of Croatian Cultural Heritage through the Digital Humanities, eds. M. Tomić, M. Willer, N. Tomašević Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, pp. 148-159.

E.A. Ishac, Syriac Synods as Sources for Studying the History of Christianity in the Middle East, Cairo – Egypt [in Arabic], Cairo, 2020, pp. 22-36.


Manolis Papoutsakis, Vicarious Kingship: A Theme in Syriac Political Theology in Late Antiquity, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2017, in Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity, 24, 1 (2020), pp. 206-207.

Dietmar W. Winkler (ed.), Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India: Contributions and Challenges, Piscataway, Gorgias Press, 2013, in The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Journal 54 (2016), pp. 202-206.

Conferences, seminars and workshops (selection)

22-26 March 2021, The Original Synodicon Orientale Manuscript of olim. Baghdad 509: Historical, Codicological, Paleographical Remarks and a Critical Edition, ReIReS School: Use and Study of Special Documents, FSCIRE, Bologna.

7-8 November 2019, Assemani and the Syrian “Orthodox” Church Fathers, Vatican Library & the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome, Vatican City and Rome.

4-5 November 2019, Like a Tree with Deep Roots: The Syrian Orthodox Church in Diaspora, X Dies Academicus, Ambrosiana Library Milan, Milan.

15-18 November 2018, Syriac Synods as Historical Sources, 3rd International Symposium of the Franciscan Cultural Centre: Historical Sources of Christianity in the Middle East, Cairo.

16-20 July 2018, Searching for Identity: Syriac Christians in the Late Ottoman Empire, WOCMES: 5th World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies, Seville.

12-15 June 2018, Syriac Liturgical Manuscripts in Garshuni, The Future of Syriac Studies and the Legacy of Sebastian P. Brock, Sigtuna.

15-16 March 2018, Syriac Liturgy in the Sixteenth Century, Syriac and Its Users in the Early Modern World c.1500 – c.1750, Oxford University, Oxford.

7–9 February 2018, Liturgy in the Time of Mor Severus, Severus of Antioch and his Search for the Unity of the Church: 1500 Years Commemoration of his Exile in 518 AD, University of Salzburg. Salzburg.

25-28 October 2016, Manuscripts as Refugees: Losing Identity?, Conference and School APAE on Authority, Provenance, Authenticity, Evidence, University of Zadar, Zadar.

15-18 September 2015, Libraries in Times of War: The Syrian Case, Österreichischer Bibliothekartag 2015, University of Vienna, Vienna.

Here the complete list of publications.