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Catholic Missionary Education in Early Mandate Syria and Lebanon

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For more content, please see Le Fait Missionnaire.

This article examines the interaction of Catholic missionary education with the French mandate state in Syria and Lebanon in the 1920s. Taking a short cross-section of the Mandate era, the article argues that Catholic missionaries’ activity in the educational sphere must be considered from a meso-level analysis to complement micro-level focus on school activity and macro-level examination of imperial relations. Such an approach begins by acknowledging the particularity of the Levantine setting, wherein Catholic activity was well embedded into the locale. It also puts into evidence the utility of Catholic educational institutions in the region for the French Mandate state’s priorities. It nevertheless considers the autonomy of these institutions; for instance, the parallel hierarchy that the French Church itself represented, with its independent priorities. Finally, the article considers the significance of inter-imperial rivalry in the Levant leading to these institutions’ empowerment by French mandate authorities.

Affiliations: 1: University of Exeter


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