Mirna Abboud Mzawak, Les familles maronites face à leur Maronité

Mirna Abboud Mzawak
Les familles maronites face à leur Maronité

Maronite families, like any other family, are considered a socio-ecclesial and sociocultural primary matrix. Through them, the social, cultural and ecclesial components of Maronity are formed and clarified.

Maronity is not detached from its overall social environment on the patriotic, religious, political, cultural, educational and economic levels. Thus, families interact, directly and indirectly, with this environment and represent, for future generations, the filter through which the permeability between the components of this environment and those of the family environment is formed.

This study, on every level, does not pretend to delimit Maronity in terms of history and identity, but rather to identify the founding pillars and regular reference points according to which the position of Maronite families in Lebanon is investigated. These reference points affect the ecclesial, spiritual and institutional components and foundations of Maronity, and the constituent dimensions of the Maronite family in Lebanon in terms of structural profiles and both socio-ecclesial and socio-spiritual experiences. It is to be noted that the aim of relating Maronite families to Maronity is not to detach them from their societal and cultural fabric, but rather to view them from the perspective of a search for the centrifugal Maronite self, wherein Maronity can learn about itself on the individual, collective and institutional levels in order to open up to others.

This investigative study about Maronity, as perceived and experienced by Maronite families, does not purport to be exhaustive; rather, it is intended to provide a founding basis for a process of research-actions and of reflexive and strategic construction in all socio-ecclesial Maronite fields and spaces. In this context, targets and investigative tools have been expanded to give consistency to this founding basis in terms of analytical results and data, on both the quantitative and qualitative levels of study.

Thus, the main and initial part of the study consists of data collected on all components of Maronity. However, academic and ecclesial circumstances have also added a complementary component. The Follow-up Committee of the Maronite Patriarchal Synod requested from the researcher in charge of the present study that she conducts a practical investigation on the levels of reception of the Maronite Patriarchal Synod.

The main purpose of the study, which focuses on the Maronite Patriarchal Synod, is to establish the planning of post-synod actions and future synods, based on a clear and illuminating knowledge of the various components of the Maronite ecclesial reality. It aims to identify and delineate how the persons concerned were able – or unable – to understand the texts of the Synod, their expectations vis-à-vis these texts and their stance on the proposed actions.

On a scientific level, the developing integration of the axis concerning the Maronite Patriarchal Synod did not constitute a foreign element in the study about Maronity, as perceived and experienced by families, since the synod experience was a constituent part of the nature of ecclesial action and Maronity itself. The content, which covers the post-synod part of the study, has thus broadened the scope of investigation and analysis, as well as the size of the samples adopted on both quantitative and qualitative levels.

The two studies, brought together in the same corpus, focus on the following aspects:
• The respondents’ perception of Maronity in terms of foundations, civilizations, features and cognitive positioning. This aspect focuses on the foundations in terms of people and civilizations, the characteristics of Maronity, especially those related to monasticism, asceticism and the lifestyle of hermits, in addition to the patriarchal nature of the Maronite Church and the respondents’ levels of knowledge of history and specific components of Maronity.
  • The perception of the structural profile of current Maronite families.
  • The perception of the current profile of the socio-spiritual life and socio-ecclesial experience of Maronite families.
  • The respondents’ perception of the presence of the Maronite Church - through people, bodies and institutions - in all the Maronites’ areas of life.
  • The perception of the levels of reception of texts and actions emanating from the Maronite Patriarchal Synod.
  • The Maronite specificity as a consolidator of interactive diversity on both societal and cultural levels.
A socio-ecclesial Maronity that endures beyond all space and time is certainly a concern shared by all Maronites, whether individually, institutionally or collectively. The present study and its post-Synod section have positioned themselves across a scientific gap favoring both an awareness of the need to place the Maronite being among the strategic priorities of socio-ecclesial actions and to initiate a process of action and reflection, and also a study action that would strengthen institutional Maronity by means of a strategic loyalty to its foundations.
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