Emma Loosley is Associate Professor in Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, UK. She works in the fields of Archaeology, Art History and Religious Studies to understand the evolution of early Christianity in the Middle East and Caucasus and how interreligious relations developed in the wider region with the coming of Islam. Her research concentrates particularly on material culture and, although she has worked in a variety of countries, her specialisation is Syrian Christianity. In 1997-2010 she spent time in Syria each year, living there for 4 years and directing 2 Syrian-British Archaeological Missions to Qaryatayn and Zalabiyeh respectively. Since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War she has sought to support Syrian friends and colleagues in seeking mechanisms to mitigate the effects of the war on Syrian Cultural Heritage.
From 2012 until 2017 she held an ERC Starting Grant that explored the relationship between Syria and Georgia in Late Antiquity. The results of this project are currently in press with Brill as Architecture and Asceticism: Cultural Interaction Between Syria and Georgia in Late Antiquity
. She remains in contact with Georgian colleagues to develop the theory that Georgian monasticism was influenced by Mesopotamian (or Assyrian) monks.