Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/21992
Title: A language for the Catholic Church in Malta
Authors: Gellel, Adrian
Sultana, Mark
Keywords: Catholic Church -- Malta
Group identity -- Malta
Secularism -- Malta
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Theology
Citation: Gelle, A., & Sultana, M. (2008). A language for the Catholic Church in Malta. Melita Theologica, 59(1), 21-36.
Abstract: Whilst acknowledging that there are various factors that influence the Maltese character, one must also recognize that religion has been and, to a certain extent, still is, an important protagonist in the construction of the identity of Maltese society and of individuals. Indeed, religion features strongly in all periods of Maltese history, not only because of the islands’ history but especially due to an emphatic need of the population to construct its identity and meaning. For instance, evidence from the post-Arab period, around the dawn of the second millennium, seems to suggest that one of the methods used by the Byzantine monks to re-Christianise the Muslim population was to exploit the islands’ Christian past and to construct a Pauline mythology. The accentuation and reinterpretation of the Christian past, the construction of local and indigenous Christian stories and, most importantly, the closeness of the religious community to the indigenous community were always vital roles of religion, throughout Maltese history, in the construction of identity and understanding of relations amongst individuals and those between the Maltese and their rulers. However, the nature of the relationship between Christianity and society has been put into question. No one quarrels with the idea that in pre-modern society and, to a considerable extent, in pre-Second World War society, Western states, societies and individuals were greatly influenced by Christian Churches and theology. This non secular state of affairs was also the situation the Maltese experienced until very recently. One cannot establish a clear demarcation line when this situation was no longer true. Indeed, it seems that parts of the population are still influenced by a non secular mentality. However, besides the recent changes which did contribute to change people’s mentality, there have also been conscious attempts to secularise Maltese society. The situation of Church hegemony in Malta has been challenged on various occasions during the twentieth century, but the change in the religious beliefs, attitudes and practice is only recent.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar//handle/123456789/21992
Appears in Collections:MT - Volume 59, Issue 1 - 2008
MT - Volume 59, Issue 1 - 2008
Scholarly Works - FacArtPhi

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
A language for the Catholic Church in Malta.pdf105.77 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.