Prof.dr. R.B. ter Haar Romeny – Old Testament and Eastern Christian Traditions
- Full Professor Old Testament and Eastern Christian Traditions
After graduating cum laude from Leiden University in the Netherlands in 1992 with an M.A. in Semitic Languages and Civilizations, Bas ter Haar Romeny went on to earn an M.A. in Theology, where he also graduated cum laude (the highest degree classification in the Netherlands) in 1993. This was followed by the award of a Doctorate cum laude in 1997. His Ph.D. thesis, entitled A Syrian in Greek Dress, was published without changes in a commercial edition by Peeters of Leuven. It received a number of favourable reviews and was awarded the prestigious Praemium Erasmianum study prize.
Subsequently Romeny held postdoctoral positions in Oxford, Leiden, and Jerusalem. Currently he is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology at Leiden University and Director of the project ‘The Formation of a Communal Identity among West Syrian Christians’. For this project he received the largest grant available from the Dutch National Research Council nwo (pionier grant scheme, now called Vici). It studies the development of the Syrian Orthodox from a religious group into an ethnic community after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. In order to investigate this phenomenon, four disciplines are combined: religious studies, history, art history and philology, whereas the central question and methodology are taken from the social sciences.
Romeny’s research agenda for the coming years will be determined by the start of a new project, entitled ‘Identity and Migration: Christian Minorities in the Middle East and in Diaspora’ (October 2006). He received funding for this in the form of a European Young Investigator (euryi) Award (European Heads of Research Councils and European Science Foundation). First, this euryi project compares the results of the pionier project mentioned above with the identity formation of the Byzantine and Coptic Orthodox. In the second place, this project will try to describe the transformation of the identity of these three Christian communities from the Middle East under the influence of modernity and life in diaspora situations. The research proposal has been commended for its combination of diachronic and synchronic approaches, the comparative nature of the research, and its interdisciplinary approach.
In addition, Romeny is involved in two major projects concerning the text of the Ancient Versions of the Hebrew Bible. First, he is one of the General Editors of the New English Annotated Translation of the Syriac Bible. This international project of the Leiden Peshitta Institute will supply the need for a reliable English translation of this second-century version. Second, he is involved in the edition of fragments of Origen’s Hexapla. He helped to build up an Institute which will coordinate the edition under the aegis of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, and will remain a member of the Editorial Board of the project.
Romeny is involved in teaching and supervision, and is coordinator of the major ‘Christianity of the Middle East’ in the MPhil Middle Eastern Studies at Leiden University. He is editor of the journals Aramaic Studies and Eastern Christian Art, as well as of two monograph series. In 2004, he was elected a member of the Young Academy, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves on the Board of the Young Academy.
As from 1 September 2006 is appointed as Professor of Old Testament and Early Christian Traditions.