Embracing the Divine
Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East, 1720-1798
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Th is book began with a felicitous happenstance. On a late spring afternoon in 1990, I was sitting in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris reading manuscripts for my doctoral dissertation. Restless from the tedium of my current reading, I went to flip through...
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“[Jesus] placed his hands on my hands, his feet on my feet and his lips on my lips, and I gazed upon the whole universe.”1 Hindiyya al-‘Ujaimi, a Maronite2 nun from Aleppo, dictated this evocative and provocative vision of her latest encounter with Christ...
2. Aleppo: The Making of a Visionary (1720–1746)
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“On June 6th  Sister Hindiyya, the mother superior of the Sacred Heart of Jesus convent, was summoned and asked about the names of her parents, her place of birth and her age . . . She answered, my father is called Shukralla and my mother Helena...
3. Mount Lebanon: A Voice in the Wilderness (1746–1750)
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On October 12, 1746, Hindiyya arrived in Dayr Ziyarat al-Adhra (Visitation of the Virgin), a Jesuit convent established in 1744 in ‘Ayntura, a village in central Mount Lebanon. Her move to the mountains of Lebanon was meant to distance her from...
4. Bkerki Convent: A Living Saint (1750–1756)
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Sometime in 1751 copies of a poster satirizing and attacking Hindiyya and her allies appeared across Mount Lebanon and in the city of Aleppo. Commissioned by Jesuit missionaries, the poster was sarcastically titled “A Real Picture of the Heart of the Sinless...
5. Purgatory: Angels and Demons in the Convent (1756–1778)
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In 1787 Constantin François Volney, who sojourned in Mount Lebanon two years before, began his narration of the demise of Hindiyya in the following portentous fashion...
6. Epilogue: Hindiyya, Alone and Everywhere (1778–1800s)
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While the terrible deaths in the convent were decried, the second inquisition of Hindiyya and its surrounding events were less focused on attaining justice for the nuns and more directed at casting aspersions at Hindiyya, dismantling her order...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2011