The Nation of Saints: The National Theological Rhetoric of Archbishop Makarios III (1913–1977)
Abstract

Abstract:

Recent scholarship on postcolonial leadership includes the autobiographies of the founding fathers of such countries as Ghana, India, Zambia, and South Africa, as well as an island-state such as Singapore, which describe the process of producing citizens and leading their country into modernity. The use of first-person writings as an entry point to the discourse about how individual leaders affect the formation of the nation emphasizes the continued contribution of literature to the field of postcolonial studies. This article explores the origin of Greek Cypriot national identity through the highly personalized rhetoric of Archbishop Makarios from the beginning of his leadership as a bishop and throughout the years of his presidency of the Republic of Cyprus. The article suggests that Makarios should be seen as a postcolonial leader from a Mediterranean island who embodies the political views of previous eras, Byzantine and Ottoman, as well as modern and Western concepts of national sovereignty. In that sense, Cyprus becomes a paradigmatic hybrid Mediterranean nation in its foundations, a mixture of religion and secularism, of citizenship, of martyrdom and modernity.