Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Daniel P. Wolk
Assyrians, who some construe to include Chaldeans and Syriacs, have witnessed both internal diversity and community integration since first settling in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Members of this stateless Middle Eastern Christian minority, who numbered 82,365 in the 2000 census, have cultivated elaborate transnational networks while adjusting to U.S. institutions and culture, as described in this entry. In the ancestral homelands of these people(s), in what is now southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran, many pockets of Christians speaking an astonishing array of widely diverse dialects of Neo-Aramaic lived for centuries. They belonged to two ancient churches with liturgies in Syriac, a variant of Aramaic: (a) the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and (b) the Church of the East or “Nestorian.” These churches are often known in the West under the theologically pejorative labels “Jacobite” and “Nestorian,” respectively. Many adherents of ...