Book

The Maronites : Traditions, History, Policy The Maronites : Traditions, History, Policy

Alexey Sarabyev, Mikhail Rodionov

The Maronites : Traditions, History, Policy


General Editor: Vitaly Naumkin
Еditor: Vladimir Sautov, Amal` Abu Zejd

Institut vostokovedeniya RAN

Moskva, 2013, 500 pages

ISBN: 978-5-89282-521-4

This work is the first Russian fundamental research on the Maronites. The book provides a multifaceted portrait of the Maronite community that includes the history of the Maronites and the Maronite Church, detailed descriptions of the traditions of the Lebanese Maronites, and an analysis of the issue of Maronite self-identity, the state of the Maronite community abroad and its political activities. Elements of daily life and folk tradition are also treated. The historical section of the study begins with the complex issue of the self-identity of the members of this ancient Middle Eastern community. Throughout the long history of the Maronites as a separate religious group there have been periods of decline, primarily related to difficult relations with adherents of other religious traditions, as well as periods of great progress and powerful cultural development across the region. The Maronite Church has played and continues to play a huge role in the life of the Maronites. This book devotes special attention to the history of relations between the Maronite Church (essentially Roman Catholicism that has preserved ancient oriental liturgical rites) with the Vatican. The chapter on the Maronite community outside Lebanon includes an analysis of the socio-economic and political activities of the Maronites in Syria, Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, as well as their diasporas in France, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, the Republic of South Africa, and Australia. The Maronites continue to contribute greatly to the political development of Lebanon. In the 20th century Lebanese parties and organizations whose leadership and membership were made up mostly of Maronites came to the fore of the political struggle in Lebanon. The authors examine the shifts in political power within the hierarchy of the Maronite Church in recent decades as well as the general political influence of the Maronite population of Lebanon. The Appendix contains biographies of the Saints of Lebanon, revered in the Maronite Church, and of Maronite patriarchs based on church archival sources. The Appendix also provides details of the participation of Maronites in the Lebanese legislature – its Parliament, or Council of Deputies (Majlis an-nawab). There is also a list of presidents of independent Lebanon. The research presents a wide range of source materials relating to the Maronite community, including books and articles in Russian, Arabic, French and English. The Introduction, Conclusion, Chapter I and Chapter II (paragraphs 1 – 3) were written by M. Rodionov; paragraphs 4 – 5 of Chapter II, as well as chapters III, IV and the Appendix were written by A. Sarabyev. The book is meant not only for specialists, but also for a wide readership.

RUS