Small islands have a need for a myth of national identity. The small Central Mediterranean archipelago of Malta, geographically located on the respective peripheries of Muslim North Africa and Christian Europe, has since the Late Middle Ages used the claim to be the site of the shipwreck of the apostle Paul in A.D. 60 (Acts 28) as a key argument for a Latin European identity. The fact that the islands had emerged from a traumatic Muslim experience made it psychologically imperative for them to trace their Christian roots to apostolic times. This study examines the validity of their claims and discusses the earliest known evidence for a Pauline tradition.
This essay discusses how Badenese Catholics responded to the nationalist rhetoric surrounding German unification in 1871. Faced with a Protestant dominated commemorative discourse aimed at reinforcing the Protestant hegemony over the definition of Germanness, Catholics successfully contested this ideological message. By creating an alternative commemorative discourse, Catholics were able to manifest their own understanding of national identity instead of becoming subsumed in a new nation-state based on Protestant values. The uneasy coexistence of Protestant and Catholic versions of German identity suggests that confessional elements constituted integral parts of German nationalism and that Catholic and Protestant integration into the Kaiserreich should be viewed as a contested debate over the definition and legitimization of the new state.
The American College of the Immaculate Conception in Louvain (Leuven), Belgium, has been preparing young men for service as priests to the Church in North America for one hundred and fifty years. Conceived in 1857 by Martin J. Spalding, Bishop of Louisville, and by Peter Paul Lefevere, Bishop of Detroit, the seminary in its early decades took advantage of a flourishing of missionary interest and vocations in Europe to provide much needed clergy to the Church in North America. It also provided to American seminarians the opportunity to study philosophy and theology in the famed Catholic University of Louvain in preparation for priestly ministry. It has served as an intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral cradle for many of America's missionaries, pastors, and educators, and continues to do so to the present.