Pluriel

University platform for research on Islam

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English

2018

When religion divides the “community”. Dynamics of violence and pacification within Arab Levant

Conference of Marco DEMICHELIS, at the second international Congress of PLURIEL

Abstract

Since the nineteenth century, the dynamics of inter-religious conflict within the Arab world accentuated a growing intolerance between Christians and Muslims which has historically been confirmed by the “pogroms” of the 1860 Mount Lebanon Civil War that culminated with the massacre in Damascus against Christians.

Nowadays, the failure of “Arab Springs” in Syria as in Egypt, the historical difficult Islamo-Christian relationship in Lebanon as that in Israel, makes the Levant, a region of rooted religious conflict, in which the belonging to a state, a citizenship as to a nation is by no means sufficient to preserve it from dramatic “civil-religious wars.” The contemporary onset of IS has further worsened the intra- community relations promoting ethnic cleansing policies within the Syrian – Iraqi area.

This lecture would like to deal with the dynamics of inter-religious violence analyzing the historical religious reasons, the failure of Arab nationalism as that of a national identitarian building process, but also the incapacity of spiritual authorities in being really “men of peace”.

In spite of this, the analysis would like to introduce dynamics of pacification through perspectives of “religious geopolitics” as well as case studies, but also through Naim Ateek and Marc H. Ellis Liberation Theology approach, referring in particular to Jerusalem Sabeel Document and the essay Encountering the Jewish Future.

The aim is to deconstruct the “belonging” to a geographic area with that to an Abrahamic faith as historically and culturally identified with a new understanding of “religious belonging”.

Conférence de Marco DEMICHELIS, au deuxième Congrès international de PLURIEL

Résumé

Depuis le XIXe siècle, la dynamique des conflits interreligieux dans le monde arabe a accentué une intolérance croissante entre chrétiens et musulmans qui a été historiquement confirmée par les “pogroms” de la guerre civile du Mont-Liban de 1860, qui culmina avec le massacre de Damas contre les chrétiens.

Aujourd’hui, l’échec des “Printemps arabes” en Syrie comme en Egypte, la difficile relation islamo-chrétienne historique au Liban comme en Israël, font du Levant une région de conflit religieux enraciné, dans laquelle l’appartenance à un État, une citoyenneté ou une nation n’est en aucun cas suffisante pour la préserver des dramatiques “guerres civiles et religieuses”.

L’apparition actuelle de l’EI a encore aggravé les relations intracommunautaires favorisant les politiques d’épuration ethnique dans la région syrienne et iraquienne.

Cette conférence se propose de traiter de la dynamique de la violence interreligieuse en analysant les raisons religieuses historiques, l’échec du nationalisme arabe en tant que processus de construction identitaire nationale, mais aussi l’incapacité des responsables spirituels à être réellement des “hommes de paix”.

Malgré cela, l’analyse voudrait introduire aux dynamiques de pacification à travers des perspectives de “géopolitique religieuse” ainsi que des études de cas, mais aussi à travers l’approche de Naim Ateek et Marc H. Ellis sur la théologie de la libération, se référant en particulier au “Document de Jérusalem” de Sabeel et à l’essai “Rencontrer l’avenir juif”.

L’objectif est de déconstruire “l’appartenance” à une zone géographique avec celle à une foi abrahamique comme historiquement et culturellement identifiée avec une nouvelle compréhension de “l’appartenance religieuse”.

Titre original : “When religion divides the “community”. Dynamics of violence and pacification within Arab Levant”

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