The Catholic Church in Tunisia: a transliminal institution between religion and nation

Alexis Marie Artaud De La Ferriere

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Abstract

Since Tunisian national independence in 1956, the Catholic Church has maintained its presence in Tunisia despite the demographic collapse of Catholics in the country and despite the Church’s historic ties to the French state under the protectorate regime. The Church in Tunisia succeeded in maintaining a position within the country after independence by transforming itself from a triumphalist colonial institution into what can be termed a transliminal institution. Situated in a liminal position with regards to both the Tunisian and the Catholic worlds, the Church in Tunisia after independence continued to exist through a constant process of translation and mediation between these two spaces. This article examines the historical development of this situation and the key dimensions which constitute the institutional Church’s transliminality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)415-446
Number of pages32
JournalThe Journal of North African Studies
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date5 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

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