Maria Småberg

Maria Småberg

Senior Lecturer

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My doctoral dissertation Ambivalent Friendship. Anglican Conflict Handling and Education for Peace in Jerusalem 1920-1948 (Lund 2005) concerns a religious actor in the civil society in times of violent conflict. During the British Mandate period in Palestine, Jewish, Muslim and Christian children studied together at Anglican missionary schools. The Anglican educational project became part of the wider efforts made by the Anglican Church to promote peace building in Palestine. The thesis analyses what were the beliefs, values and practical aims behind this educational effort.
One of the students was young Edward W. Said. In this thesis, his theory of ‘Orientalism’ has proved a useful tool for critical evaluation of the discourses of the Anglican Church in general and the activities of the Anglican schools in particular. The book also deals with Said’s own learning context, the early foundation of his personal and scholarly development. Were the Anglican schools merely the instrument of British imperial policy or did they provide, in this particular multicultural context, some further quality?
Two lines of interpretation are emphasised: one focusing the Anglican discourses and activities as part of that Western Orientalism which regards the British spiritual and political superiority to be self-evident, the other taking seriously the efforts of the Anglicans trying to be an informal ‘third party’ who promoted peace and interreligious dialogue in civil society.

Research

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