Fr. Roger Youssef Akhrass was awarded one of HMML’s Spring 2014 Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, Fellowships in Eastern Christian Manuscript Studies. Originally from Lebanon, Fr. Roger comes to us from Paris, France, where he received his PhD in Patristics from the Institut Catholique. His education also includes a Master of Arts degree in Theology, Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theology and Philosophy, and the completion of numerous other studies. He has published several articles and received the 2009 Honors of Syriac Writer Award from the Syriac League in Lebanon. During that time he also worked as an instructor at St. Aphrem Theological Seminary in Ma‘arat Saydnaya, Syria.
Fr. Roger has long been interested in the works of Philoxenos of Mabbug. While here, he is focusing his study on the Garshūnī works of—or attributed to—Philoxenos, and will have the opportunity to become familiar with the Syriac and Arabic manuscripts of HMML’s various Middle Eastern collections.
In addition to his knowledge on Philoxenos of Mabbug, he has extensively researched Severus of Antioch and Michael the Great, making several presentations on his findings. In the future he would like to return to teaching at Saint Aphrem’s Theological Seminary in Ma‘arat Saydnaya, Syria.
Robert A. Kitchen was awarded one of HMML’s Spring 2014 Dietrich Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, Fellowships in Eastern Christian Manuscript Studies. Bob is currently the Minister of Knox-Metropolitan United Church in Regina, Saskatchewan. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he has held prior pastoral positions in that state as well as in Massachusetts and Minnesota. His extensive education includes a D Phil degree in Syriac Language and Literature; a Master of Arts degree in Syriac, Semitic Languages; a Master of Divinity degree; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. Through his career Bob has authored a long list of publications. In addition to his thorough research, Bob has held numerous teaching positions, received several fellowships, and contributed to related editorial work.
During his time at HMML, Bob will conduct research on Jacob of Serug. The manuscripts he needs are in HMML's digital collection from the library of the Church of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin, Turkey (CFMM), including a metrical Life of Jacob.
Bob’s specific research interests include “Syriac & Ge‘ez (Ethiopic) Patristics: asceticism, prayer and spirituality, Desert Fathers;” and “History of Christian Thought: Christological controversies, Eastern Christian theology.”