Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/22413
Title: The cultural roots of Maltese identity. Christian myths and social memory in a Mediterranean frontier society
Other Titles: Надежди и разочарования в историята. Сборник в памет на професор Милчо Лалков
Hopes and disappointments in the history. Collected works in memory of Professor Milchio Lalkov
Authors: Cassar, Carmel
Keywords: Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Myth -- Malta
Collective memory -- Malta
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: Cassar, C. (2005). The cultural roots of Maltese identity. Christian myths and social memory in a Mediterranean frontier society. In Надежди и разочарования в историята. Сборник в памет на професор Милчо Лалков (рр. 264-291). Blagoevgrad.
Abstract: Christianity was deeply rooted among the Maltese well before the advent of the Order of St John in 1530. By the late Middle Ages Malta had developed into a diocese run by an absentee Bishop and an Inquisition tribunal that was usually presided over by the Vicar-General who was generally responsible for the island's spiritual needs. Despite the advent of the elitist, aristocratic and powerful Order of knights, the diocese of Malta continued to play a dominant part in Malta and acted largely as a separate, if not an independent entity - a role, which the Catholic Church could play largely thanks to the strong attachment of the Maltese community towards religion. The position of the diocese of Malta follows rather closely the theory proposed by the sociologist A.D. Smith who noted that over the millennia organized religions have served as a symbolic code of communication and a focus for social organization). The unity of the various strata of the population of Malta was possible through the profound ties of all the inhabitants – except the Muslim slaves - to the Roman Catholic Church. Malta was close to a theocracy as the three separate jurisdictions on the island - the Grand Master's, the Bishop's, and the Inquisitor's - all considered the Pope as their ultimate earthly head. The net result was that religion seeped deeply into all sectors of society with the priesthood serving as the focus of social organization.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar//handle/123456789/22413
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsTTC



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