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Hartford Seminary

Najib Awad

Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Director, International Ph.D. Program

Background

  • Dr. Theol. Habil., Oriental Christianity, Arabic/Byzantine Theology and Early Christian Kalam, Philipps Universitaet Marburg, Germany.
  • Dr. Phil., Systematic Theology, King’s College, University of London, United Kingdom
  • M.A. Systematic Theology, King’s College, University of London, United Kingdom
  • B.A., Christian Theology, Near East School of Theology, Beirut, Lebanon

Areas of Study

  • Systematic Theology
  • Doctrine of the Trinity
  • Theology of Religions
  • Contextual Theology
  • Arabic Christianity and Christian-Muslim Relations.
  • Oriental/Arab Christianity

Biography

I am a Syrian citizen, who is religiously Christian, denominationally Reformed-Protestant, ethnically from Syriac-Aramaic roots, and culturally Arab. I was born in Syria’s main costal city, Lattakia, and I grew up in the country’s majority-Muslim, yet also multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-confessional, context. Over the past twenty years, I travelled widely and had the chance to fully integrate into various Western cultural contexts. I have lived in England, America and lately Germany. I proudly call myself the child of this wonderful and successful marriage between my Eastern origin and Western experience.

This versatile cultural and personal experiences not only shaped and enriched my personality, but also enabled me to develop sort of a ‘trans-boundaries’ identity. It has been one of the main motivating and driving forces in my professional theological career. I have dedicated my life to studying and teaching Christian faith and its relations to other religions and forms of intellectual inquiry. Holding this multi-faceted identity and background has led me to view theological scholarship as a dialogue between the Christian faith in the triune God and the historical and contextual settings of the human existence. Theology is that venue where the reality of God and the intellectual and religious conditions of the human person meet to interact, to debate, to question each other, to clash fiercely sometimes but also to speak to each other in a deeper and more intimate way.

It is upon this understanding that I construct my theological pedagogy, and it is for the sake of launching such a dialogue that I invite my students to become engaged as profoundly as they can with the questions and challenging issues we discuss and understand together. I like my courses to be an invitation for me and the students alike to co-examine God and His traces in human intellect and contextualized existence. It is an invitation for talking about God-talk, for theologizing on theology, by carefully discussing and critically analyzing how theologians interpret Christian faith in interrelation with the intellectual, cultural and multi-religious contexts they belong to.

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