The Religions of Modern Syria and Palestine Lectures Delivered before Lake Forest College on the Foundation of the Late William Bross: Lectures Delivered before Lake Forest College on the Foundation of the Late William Bross

By Frederick Jones Bliss | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I

THE HISTORIC SETTING

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

TWENTY-FIVE hundred feet above the Mediterranean, and within sound of its waves, there is an irregular line of five villages stretching for about two miles along the seaward slope of the Lebanon. This small group, taken almost at random from the hundreds of mountain towns, may serve to illustrate the scope of this volume. The largest village, Sûq-el-Gharb, or the Western Market, is peopled mainly by members of the Greek Orthodox Church, though it contains also a number of families now Protestant. Separated on the north from the Western Market by no perceptible boundary runs out Mekkîn, with its large convent belonging to the Greek Catholics, or Greeks now united to Rome. Below Sûq-el-Gharb and a little to the south, partly concealed by a grove of ancient oaks, nestles 'Aitât, inhabited almost entirely by Druses, followers of a religion of secrecy and mystery, one of the heretical offshoots of Islam. Higher up on the range is planted the hamlet of Kêfûn, which contains nothing but Mohammedans, not Orthodox Sunnis, like those resident in the city of Beyrout, which gleams on the plains below, but Metawileh Shi'ahs, of the sect of Islam that rules in Persia. And, last of the group, to the south is Shemlan, where are found practically none but Maronites, proud of their membership in the National Syrian Church of the Lebanon; like the Greek Catholics, Eastern in rite and practice, and, like them, giving allegiance to a Western pope. Thus segregated by groups in the compass of a few hundred yards, we find examples of all the religions to be here discussed at length, except the Sunni Moslems and the Jacobite and Catholic Syrians.

-3-

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The Religions of Modern Syria and Palestine Lectures Delivered before Lake Forest College on the Foundation of the Late William Bross: Lectures Delivered before Lake Forest College on the Foundation of the Late William Bross
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II- The Constitution of the Eastern Churches 35
  • IV- The Uniates 81
  • Chapter III- The Ritual of the Eastern Churches 123
  • Chapter IV- The Five Pillars of Islam 171
  • Chapter V- The Religious Orders of Islam 225
  • Other Features of Islam 276
  • Chapter VII- The Influence of the West 313
  • Appendix 337
  • Index 345
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