April 15, 2016
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v2.1 Reference

The Holy See and the Emergence of the Modern Middle East

Benedict XV's Diplomacy in Greater Syria (1914-1922)

The Holy See and the Emergence of the Modern Middle East examines the originality of Pope Benedict XV's diplomacy (1914–1922) during the First World War and the immediate post-war period in the modern Middle East emerging after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. A thorough exploration of the pontiff's statecraft regarding Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine serves as the case study and emphasizes Pope Benedict's participation in preparing the Catholic Church for an active role in the new world order.

Benedict XV was a far-sighted geopolitical master whose diplomatic vision went beyond local circumstances so as to equip the Church for future protection of Catholic interests and communities worldwide. Pope Benedict anticipated the geopolitical revolution that would take place in the wake of the Great War and discerned the first tremors that would initiate the decolonization movement and the self-determination of national minorities. After the war, the pontiff, who had acquired a new moral authority, initiated a policy that shifted the Holy See away from its past Eurocentric vision of the world. This implemented a supple diplomacy that would adjust to any political environment as long as the independence of the Holy See and the protection of Catholic interests would be guaranteed. This far-seeing diplomacy had repercussions at the regional and international level that lasted long after his death.

The recent celebration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Benedict's reign makes this book timely and relevant given the current, and not to abate soon, events in the Middle East. It draws attention to an underappreciated pontificate and remedies the absence of detailed and comprehensive regional foreign policy studies relative to Benedict XV's pontificate. Finally, the volume provides a larger historical context to understanding the current welfare and survival of Christian communities in an overwhelmingly Muslim Middle East.

About the Author

Agnes De Dreuzy is Church History Instructor, St. Mark's College, Catholic Theological College at the University of British Columbia.

9780813228495 : the-holy-see-and-the-emergence-of-the-modern-middle-east-de-dreuzy
296 Pages
$69.95 USD

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