Miriam Hjälm is Academic Dean for Religious Studies and Theology at Sankt Ignatios College and a senior lecturer at the Department of Eastern Christian Studies at Stockholm School of Theology where she is currently teaching biblical Hebrew, the history of religion (esp. Judaism and Islam), and courses on how sacred texts have been used and understood in Eastern Christianity.
Miriam has an MA in oriental studies from Uppsala and a one-year program degree from the Hebrew University. She completed her PhD thesis in semitic languages at Uppsala University in 2015. Her thesis, Christian Arabic Versions of Daniel (Brill: 2016), focused on translation techniques and manuscript descriptions in Arabic versions of Daniel. The methods used in translation were based on a study of Judaeo-Arabic translations by her supervisor, Prof. Meira Polliack (Tel Aviv University). In 2015 she moved to Munich (Ludwig-Maximilian University) and joined the German-Israeli Biblia Arabica project where she continued to locate, systematize, and analyze Christian Arabic Bible translations (https://biblia-arabica.com/).
Miriam has previously taught Hebrew at Uppsala University and at Ludwig Maximilian University, and has taught other Semitic languages, such as Syriac and Arabic, as well as courses relating the history and cultures of the users of these languages.
Miriam’s current research project is entitled “A Christian Bible in a Muslim Context” which is funded by the Swedish Research Council (2017–01630). The aim of the project is to study various aspects of “Bible Theology” in early Christian Arabic texts, including bible commentaries and the development of the biblical canon. In addition, she is interested in Jewish-Christian relations under Islam and how such contacts are expressed in polemical and exegetical tracts (https://www.swecris.se/betasearch/details/project/201701630VR?lang=en)
In addition, she is involved in the project “Retracing Connections: Byzantine Storyworlds” sponsored by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (https://www.rj.se/en/anslag/2019/retracing-connections-byzantine-storyworlds-in-greek-arabic-georgian-and-old-slavonic-c.-950–c.-1100/).
(3) “From Palestine to Damascus to Berlin: Early Christian Arabic texts from the Qubbat al-khazna in the Violet collection,” in The Damascus Fragments: Towards a History of the Qubbat al-khazna Corpus of Manuscripts and Documents, edited by Arianna D’Ottone Rambach, Konrad Hirschler, and Ronny Vollandt (Beirut: Ergon Verlag, 2020), pp. 245–264.
(4) “The Four Kingdom Schema and the Seventy Weeks in the Arabic Reception of Daniel,” in Four Kingdom Motifs before and beyond the Book of Daniel, edited by Andrew Perrin and Loren T. Stuckenbruck (Themes in Biblical Narrative, 28; Leiden: Brill, 2020), 251–274. Open Access: https://brill.com/view/book/
(5) “Psalms to Reason, Psalms to Heal. The Scriptures in Early Rūm Orthodox Treatises” in The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King, edited by 21 (Themes in Biblical Narrative 29; Leiden Brill: 2021), 239–272.
(6) “Biblical Theology, Scholarly Approaches, and the Bible in Arabic,” in Narratives on Translation across Eurasia and Africa: From Babylonia to Colonial India, edited by Sonja Brentjes in cooperation with Jens Høyrup and Bruce O’Brien (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2022), 135–156.
(7) “Transposed and Thriving: Bible Reception in the Prophetologion,” in Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity. Essays in Honour of Anders Ekenberg’s 75th Birthday, edited by Barbara Crostini, Carl-Johan Berglund, and James Kelhoffer, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 177 (Leiden: Brill, 2022), 435–463. Open Access: https://brill.com/display/
(8) “1.2.12 Arabic Texts [Overview Article > The Textual History of the Deutero-canonical Texts]” in The Textual History of the Bible, vol. 2A. Edited by Frank Feder and Matthias Henze. Leiden: Brill, 2020, pp. 483–495.
(9) “1.1.10 The Arabic Canon [Overview Article > The Textual History of the Deutero-canonical Texts],” in The Textual History of the Bible, vol. 2A. Edited by Frank Feder and Matthias Henze. Leiden: Brill, 2020, pp. 280–298.
Miriam is currently chair for the board of Saint Anna of Novgorod’s Orthodox Church in Stockholm and Uppsala.
Miriam’s vision is to study, spread knowledge, and create an interest in the Eastern Christian traditions, especially those in the Middle East, and the cultures in which these developed.