A Lebanese contemporary female mystic and her counter-conducts
(2020) Women’s History Review, 29 (1), pp. 74-89.
A network of Christian female mystics in Lebanon and Syria has been forming since the early 1980s. Composed of women from large cities, such as Beirut or Damascus, it is characterized by its denominational and social diversity. This article will focus on one of these mystics: Catherine Fahmi, who has been living, and officiating, in her apartment in the suburbs of Beirut since the late 1990s. Catherine is a Maronite. She is a married mother of three, in her forties. Each Tuesday morning, she experiences a public ecstasy. Every year, on Good Friday, surrounded by a number of faithful followers, she sees and experiences the Way of the Cross. My aim here is to grasp the complex interplay between this female mystic, her followers and the Maronite Church. Her activities, and the rituals surrounding her stigmatized body, will be analyzed in terms of ‘counter-conducts,’ a notion developed by Michel Foucault. © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.