Minority Identities Before and After Iraq: The Making of the Modern Assyrian and Chaldean Appellations

Author: Yasmeen Hanoosh

Publisher/Publication: The Arab Studies Journal

Volume/Issue: 24(2)

DOI/ISBN: http://www.jstor.org/stable/44742878

This article aims to retrace the origins of the different appellations of the modern Assyrians and Chaldeans, and highlight the complicit relationship between Iraqi Christian groups and the Christian West. By analyzing the use of the terms “Assyrian”, “Nestorian” and “Chaldean” from the pre-Christian period till the 20th century, it attempts to place them in accurate and particular periods or events, in order to understand the narratives of identities that these groups carry, along with the current attempts to consolidate one name as an umbrella term. As few groups feel the need to preserve their identities as much as Iraqi Christians, especially in face of present-day persecution, this detailed study of the ancient contexts are instrumental for fortifying identity discourses.