The French catholic missionaries in Lebanon between 1860 and 1914

Gül, Serkan
This thesis aims at analyzing the French missionary activities in Lebanon during the Ottoman Era between 1860 and 1914 within the context of their role in the French religious protectorate system in the Levant. Religious protectorate was a system that emerged in the 16th Century with the indication of the Latin Catholics in the capitulation agreements between France and the Ottoman Empire and became a significant factor of the Franco-Ottoman relations in the following centuries. By relying upon its increasing diplomatic and economic influence over the Ottoman Empire, France gave a new meaning to religious protection and made effort to extend its protection from the Latin Catholics to the Catholic subjects of the Ottoman Empire. In this framework, the thesis will firstly explain establishment of French religious protection in the Ottoman Empire. Secondly, the French Catholic missionary congregations and their significant institutions in Lebanon will be introduced. Also their relations with the French diplomats and their contributions to French cultural and political prestige in the region will be analyzed. Thirdly, rivalry between the French Catholic missionaries and the Protestant missionaries will be evaluated. Thus the strengths and weakness of the French missionary existence in Lebanon will be discussed in comparison with the Protestant missionary existence. This chapter will also reveal how the missionary activities were perceived as a factor of cultural and diplomatic rivalries in a given region. Finally, the thesis will focus on attitude of the Ottoman administration towards the French Catholic missionaries and their activities, and will be revealed the weakness of the Ottoman administration in the control of the French missionary activities and institutions.
Citation Formats
S. Gül, “The French catholic missionaries in Lebanon between 1860 and 1914,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.