"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Memorials and Martyrs in Modern Lebanon

Lebanon continues to be a fascinating place especially for those of us who study relations between Eastern Christians and Muslims. Indiana University Press last fall released a study looking at both groups: Lucia Volk, Memorials and Martyrs in Modern Lebanon (Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa) (IU Press, 272pp.).

About this book, the publisher tells us:
Lebanese history is often associated with sectarianism and hostility between religious communities, but by examining public memorials and historical accounts, Lucia Volk finds evidence for a sustained politics of Muslim and Christian co-existence. Lebanese Muslim and Christian civilians were jointly commemorated as martyrs for the nation after various episodes of violence in Lebanese history. Sites of memory sponsored by Maronite, Sunni, Shiite, and Druze elites have shared the goal of creating cross-community solidarity by honoring the joint sacrifice of civilians of different religious communities. This compelling and lucid study enhances our understanding of culture and the politics of memory in situations of ongoing conflict. 

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