Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1300028
 
 

Footnotes (259)



 


 



Resurrection from Babel: The Cultural, Political, and Legal Status of Christian Communities in Lebanon and Syria and Their Prospects for the Future


Alexandra R. Harrington


McGill University - Faculty of Law

2006

Tulsa Journal of Comparative & International Law, Vol. 13, p. 217, 2006

Abstract:     
In the well-known Biblical story, the faithful, attempting to create a place of unity for themselves, set about building the Tower of Babel, only to see the Tower implode due to linguistic differences and power assertions. Thousands of years later, the world is still plagued by sectarian strife and warfare. Indeed, the situation has only become more involved since Babel, as there are now inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts for supremacy and superiority - a notable difference in these conflicts is that the ultimate tool of getting to Heaven is no longer a tower, it is now a state. Within the framework of the much-vaunted and highly-contested state structure which sits at the heart of inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts lies a duality of politics and law. A state cannot exist without political actors, whatever their motivations may be, and political actors of all belief systems have embraced the need for laws as a method of control - if not equality and a means of assuring an open society.

For Christian communities in the Middle East there is perhaps no greater a living symbol of the effects of Babel-esque intra-communal fighting than Lebanon. The fighting between Christian communities in Lebanon, and the alliances of these communities with various Muslim communities and other nations to try to crush rival Christian opposition, is more than just a memory of decades past; it continues today, albeit in slightly less violent forms than during the civil war which ravaged the country for over a decade. By contrast, the political and legal standing of Christian communities across the border in Syria is nowhere near as visible, or publicized, as their Lebanese co-religionists.

This article examines the role of Christian communities in Lebanese and Syrian history and law, and, conversely, the role of constitutional and statutory law on Christian communities in Lebanon and Syria. With these laws and relationships established, the article then goes on to call for a resurgence of unity between the Christian communities in Lebanon, and an awakening of the Christian communities in Syria, as a means to solve the political and societal unrest in both countries. The author argues that the law allowing this type of participation has already been established, and now is waiting for the people to use it as a weapon against terrorism and injustice. By using existing laws, particularly constitutional laws, to change their respective countries, the Christian communities in Lebanon and Syria would be able to help not only themselves, but also the Muslim communities and other religious minority communities in Lebanon and Syria.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

JEL Classification: K33

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 12, 2008 ; Last revised: November 17, 2008

Suggested Citation

Harrington, Alexandra R., Resurrection from Babel: The Cultural, Political, and Legal Status of Christian Communities in Lebanon and Syria and Their Prospects for the Future (2006). Tulsa Journal of Comparative & International Law, Vol. 13, p. 217, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1300028

Contact Information

Alexandra R. Harrington (Contact Author)
McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )
3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,124
Downloads: 638
Download Rank: 20,860
Footnotes:  259

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.484 seconds