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Evangelos Katafylis

Evangelos Katafylis

PhD Student, Middle Eastern Studies


Between 1998 and 2002 I read theology at Aristotle University (Thessaloniki Greece). In 2005 I went to the UK to study for an MPhil in Religious studies at Edinburgh University. For my MPhil at Edinburgh I concentrated on Christian-Muslim theological encounters. After completion of the MPhil, I taught Patristic Literature and Inter-religious Dialogue for two years at a Theological Vocational Training Institute in Thessaloniki-Greece. I am currently reading for a PhD in Middle Eastern at Jesus College, Cambridge.

Subject groups/Research projects

Arabic & Persian Studies:

Research Interests


My research interests focus upon Christian-Muslim dialogues from the eighth up to fifteenth century; the emergence of Islam in the Balkans; and religious-cultural exchange and interactions between Christian and Muslims in the Balkan Peninsula, from the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries.

Current Research

My PhD thesis is tentatively entitled 'Religious intellectual encounters between Byzantium and the Ottomans in the fourteenth century'. The thesis explores the interaction between Byzantine authors (emperors, scholars and theologians) who wrote about Islam, and Muslim political and religious leaders in the period during the rise of the Ottoman state (c.1300). The intensification of direct contacts with the Ottomans in this period enriched Byzantine knowledge about Islam and Muslim practices, including aspects of Islam which had been unknown in the previous centuries. Their works, comprising letters and treatises, some of them in the form of dialogues, contain important information on a variety of aspects on this subject, reflecting varied attitudes towards the Ottomans and Islam, ranging from utter rejection to a positive and increasingly rational understanding of this religion. The thesis compares the tone and content of Christian–Muslim dialogues. It also assesses the degree of influence, similarity or divergence among these works, and in addition, examines Ottoman perceptions of, and attitudes towards, the Christian Orthodox faith as attested in their theological dialogue with the Byzantines, placing them in their wider historical and cultural context. It is hoped that the present work contributes to a better understanding of the conduct of similar interactions today, offering an opportunity to revise certain stereotypes in present day Christian-Muslim encounters.

Key Publications


Translation of elementary Turkish textbooks for the article: 'Greek and Turkish National identity through Greek and Turkish elementary textbooks' (in Greek), Makednon, vol. 10, 2012, pp. 77-92.

Encyclopedia entries (by invitation):

'Ottoman Yoke'. The Blackwell-Wiley Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodoxy. Ed. J A McGuckin., vol.3, pp. Oxford. New York. 2010.

Seminars/Posters/Conference Papers

'Intellectual relations between Byzantium and the Ottomans in the fourteenth century: The Christian apologetic agenda for the representation of the Theology of the other'. Graduate Symposium of Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, 7 May 2012, University of Cambridge.

'Ottoman interest in religious dialogues in the middle of the fourteenth century: The case of Gregory Palamas'. Beyond Assimilation and Integration – the theory and practice of identity, difference and exchange, Program in Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas Annual Symposium, Bilkent University (Ankara), 20th - 21st March 2010.

Participation in Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History 1500-1900 (CMR1900). Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. Editor/principal investigator (PI), Professor David Thomas, Birmingham University. To be published by Brill. (2013-2017 in progress).