By Adam H. Becker


When I was little my mother would get me a red bagel on Valentine’s Day and a green one on St. Patrick’s Day. Although Jewish, on Christmas Eve we would go to my grandmother’s house. She was Catholic and had a Rembrandt-esque picture of Jesus on the wall. I always thought it was my mother’s elusive stepbrother David.


Adam H. Becker is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Classics at New York University. His research focuses on the cultural history of the Syriac (Christian Aramaic) tradition in what is now Iraq, Iran, and Turkey in late antiquity and the early Islamic period. However, he is currently finishing a book on the interaction between American Evangelical missionaries and members of the Church of the East (the “Nestorians”) in Iran in the nineteenth century.