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Mission Statement

The MSC endorses the study of the scientific and religious aspects of the Holy Mother using contemporary information and personal experiences throughout Lebanon and the Middle East.
It aims to be the dialogue center on the subject between Eastern Churches, and between Christianity and Islam.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Marian Studies Center (MSC) is to become the unique research center for theological, historical, and cultural studies on the person and the meaning of the Virgin Mary in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Objectives

The MSC aims at:

  • conducting research related to issues of faith.
  • becoming concerned with specific religious studies related to the Virgin Mary as a person, as a Saint, and as a religious figure and symbol of pure faith.
  • creating a data base on the subject with an on-going possibility of significant growth.
  • establishing a specialized library on the subject.
  • getting involved in research related to the Virgin Mary as a historic, theological, and cultural symbol.
  • combining science and belief, reason and revelation, in order to keep discovering the truth about the Holy Mother.
  • dealing with theology through a scientific approach, and dealing with scientific analysis through a spiritual, as well as rational, criticism.
  • Conducting research on the subject through the internet facilities and other means of information technology.
  • supporting science with religion, and enhancing religion with science.
  • making the subject of the Virgin Mary a scientific subject in order to complement the religious subject.
  • publishing the outcome of such research in the form of books, magazines, and specialized encyclopedias.

Brief History

The Marian Studies Center (MSC) started unofficially with the preparations and writings of the first Volume of the Encyclopedia The Virgin Mary in Lebanon, published in 2001. Later in November 2003 the Academy was officially established under the Office of the Vice President for Sponsored Research and Development, and the work was launched in more than one direction serving the objectives set for the Center.
The Encyclopedia: The Virgin Mary in Lebanon 
This is a religious and historical illustrated compendium on present and former churches and shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Lebanon. It is published in a number of volumes in the format of one volume per district (caza or cada). It is published in Arabic with summaries translated into English.
The Virgin Mary is the centerpiece of this work. However the Encyclopedia is a general, rigorous and indicative survey of the status quo of every village, town and city in Lebanon. This survey starts with the name of the place and includes the short history, architecture, social life, nature of the land, and important figures of the village or city. The text is enriched with a series of colored portraits and photographs that represent the cultural and social background of each of these places.
The work is supported with references, oral and written sources, field studies, maps and tables. The volumes already published, written by the late Anwar Saber, are:

  • Volume 1: District of Akkar
  • Volume 2: Districts of Tripoli, Menieh-Dounnieh, Zgharta-Zawyeh.
  • Volume 3: District of Jibbet Bsharry and the Qadisha Valley.
  • Volume 4: District of Al-Koura.
  • Volume 5: District of Al-Batroun (Ijdabra – Hilta)
  • Volume 6: District of Al-Batroun (Dooq – Neeha)