This chapter discusses the relationship between sectarianism and nationalism, underscoring its contention that sectarianism as an idea draws meaning only within a nationalist paradigm and hence belongs to the modern world. It points out that it focuses on one theme of a complex history: the construction of sectarianism as an idea and its beginnings as a practice in Mount Lebanon. The chapter reasons that the argument it develops deliberately eschews any comparison between the violence in Mount Lebanon in 1860 with other intercommunal hostilities, such as those of Aleppo in 1850 or even those of Damascus in 1860, primarily because such cases had little relevance to the events in Mount Lebanon, which, as an autonomous rural region, enjoyed its own specificities and its own cultural and historical trajectory.
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