Project "Manuscripts at the Crossroad"

The project „Manuscripts at the Crossroad“ draws on the matter of fact that the University of Tartu has due to its geopolitical location and scientific tradition the potential to conduct a long-term research on the cultural and religious traditions of Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Estonia is situated at the edge of the vast and diverse Eastern Europe, where linguistic and cultural contacts have been mediated for thousands of years on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea – it is a meeting place of the western German and Swedish and eastern Russian cultures. In addition, from our area, a cultural axis also reaches to the south, southwest and southeast, to the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, Ethiopia, Central Asia and beyond. These contacts and their research are illustrated at best by manuscripts that physically embody and carry on tradition and cultural memory.
Scientific study of manuscripts enables to join various disciplines, research topics and scientists and to enforce and continue the solid tradition of Oriental studies, Slavic studies, Classical studies, Religious studies, Folklore studies, etc. at the University of Tartu.

The long-term AIMS of the project are:
- University of Tartu (UT) becomes an internationally known center for the study of manuscripts and cultural contacts and religious traditions (geographically determined by Eastern Europe and the Middle East) with a new generation of researchers in the area of manuscripts and cultural contacts;
- editing and publishing of the most important manuscripts of the library of the UT collection as well as other manuscripts from important collections (such as Arthur Vööbus collection, etc.); 
- contributing through the exemplary study of cultural contacts of the past to the social, cultural, religious and political integrity in Europe.

The development of the new research field is coordinated by the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the UT and it has been supported with the base funding for humanities by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the UT as well as by the Asian Centre of the UT.

- School of Theology and Religious Studies
- Asian Centre
- UT Library
- UT Press
- Prof. Stefan Schreiner (Tübingen)
- Prof. Charles P. Melville and Dr. Firuza Melville (Cambridge)

Project coordinator: Anu Põldsam, lecturer in Jewish Studies,
Urmas Nõmmik, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies,

- Prof. Stefan Schreiner (Tübingen) taught on cultural contacts in spring semester 2018/2019.
- Meetings with researchers from Cambridge and Tübingen, in order to achieve a concrete plan of cooperation (June 2019).
- Symposium „Manuscripts at the Crossroad“ took place at the library of UT on 04.11.2019. 
- Exhibition  „Manuscripts at the Crossroad“ at the library of UT from November 2019 till January 2020
- Publishing of the exhibition booklet „Manuscripts at the Crossroad“ in January 2020

- Updating the list of oriental manuscripts at the libarary of UT and digitizing of manuscripts
- Preparations for publishing the „Journal of Judaic Studies“ (JJudS).


The Inaugural Conference of the Baltic Network of Women's History gathers in Tartu

Andreas Johandi

Andreas Johandi was awarded the Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral research


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