Download Eastern Christianity in the modern Middle East by Anthony O'Mahony, Emma Loosley PDF

By Anthony O'Mahony, Emma Loosley

The center East is the birthplace of Christianity and the house to a few japanese church buildings with thousands of fans. This booklet offers a complete survey of many of the denominations within the glossy heart East and may be of curiosity to a large choice of students and scholars learning theology, heritage and politics.

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8 The Maronites developed a strong attachment to the territory of Mount Lebanon, regarding it both as a spiritual homeland and as a refuge from the oppressive policies pursued by Islamic rulers elsewhere in the Arab world. They remained isolated from wider developments in the universal church until the arrival of the Crusaders in the late eleventh century. The community was mostly supportive of the new rulers and many offered their services as guides. Yet, the newcomers were unconvinced about the doctrinal beliefs of their allies and installed their own Latin hierarchy.

3 The Maronites in Lebanon An historical and political perspective Fiona McCallum Introduction The Maronites have long enjoyed a unique position in the Middle East. They are the only Christian group in the region to have enjoyed widespread autonomy throughout centuries of Islamic rule. This freedom culminated in the formation of an independent Lebanese state where Christians enjoyed supremacy, including being the only Arab country with a non-Muslim head of state. Although population figures in Lebanon are disputed (mostly due to political sensitivities), it is estimated that the Maronites are now the third largest community (22 per cent), behind the Shiites (30 per cent) and Sunnis (27 per cent).

The monastery also functions as a Seminary, as well as the residence of the Patriarch when he is not in Damascus. 22 According to tradition, the Monastery of St Mark in Jerusalem is on the site of the Upper Room of the Last Supper; an inscription of medieval date describes it as being the house of Mary, mother of John Mark. The Monastery’s church houses one of the various icons of the Virgin Mary that are traditionally said to have been painted by St Luke. Even though the Syrian Orthodox community in Jerusalem has always been small (and has become even smaller owing to emigration in the last half century or so), there has always been a steady flow of pilgrims, several of whom in the Middle Ages scratched their names on the stone columns at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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