Recent Perspectives on Christianity in the Modern Arab World

Recent Perspectives on Christianity in the Modern Arab World

Article Written by Laura Robson*

Department of History, Portland State University

This article appeared in History Compass 9/4 (2011) - reproduced by kind permission of Laura Robson.


Although Christians constitute large and important communities in much of the modern Arab world, scholars have long tended to overlook their histories, viewing them as little more than pawns of Western interests or victims of Muslim overlords. Recently, however, a body of new scholarship has sought to explore the modern experience of Christians in the Arab world. This historiographical article examines the past reluctance to deal with the modern history of Christianity in the Arab world; investigates the reasons for its recent emergence as a topic of interest to historians; analyzes the approaches and contributions of the new scholarship; and suggests some possibilities for future directions.

Download the full article here (102KB pdf)


Short Biography

Laura Robson is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. She holds a doctorate in history from Yale University, and has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and grants from such bodies as the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Whiting Foundation. Her book Colonialism and Christianity in Mandate Palestine was published by  the University of Texas Press in 2011 and reviewed in JMECA's Bible Lands Winter 2011.

* Correspondence: Department of History, Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA. Email:


Posted 14th December 2011