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Between Uniatism and Arabism

Missionary Policies and Diplomatic Interest of the Melkites in Jordan during the Interwar Period

In: Social Sciences and Missions
Author:
Norig Neveu CNRS, AMU (IREMAM)

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Abstract

In the Emirate of Transjordan, the interwar period was marked by the emergence of the Melkite Church. Following the Eastern rite and represented by Arab priests, this church appeared to be an asset from a missionary perspective as Arab nationalism was spreading in the Middle East. New parishes and schools were opened. A new Melkite archeparchy was created in the Emirate in 1932. The archbishop, Paul Salman, strengthened the foundation of the church and became a key partner of the government. This article tackles the relationship between Arabisation, nationalisation and territorialisation. It aims to highlight the way the Melkite Church embodied the adaptation strategy of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Transjordan. The clergy of this national church was established by mobilising regional and international networks. By considering these clerics as go-between experts, this article aims to decrypt a complex process of territorialisation and transnationalisation of the Melkite Church.

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