Martyr Cults and Political Identities in Lebanon

"Victory or Martyrdom" in the Struggle of the Amal Movement

  • Sabrina Bonsen

Part of the Politik und Gesellschaft des Nahen Ostens book series (PGNO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXI
  2. Sabrina Bonsen
    Pages 35-57
  3. Sabrina Bonsen
    Pages 163-189
  4. Sabrina Bonsen
    Pages 191-247
  5. Sabrina Bonsen
    Pages 249-286
  6. Sabrina Bonsen
    Pages 305-328
  7. Sabrina Bonsen
    Pages 329-339
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 341-367

About this book


Sabrina Bonsen sheds light on political cults of martyrs in Lebanon and reconsiders the context of their emergence, development and distinct characteristics since 1920. She examines how the honouring of martyrs became an established practice in Lebanese politics and is crucial to grasp the logic of violence and conflict. Drawing on the case of the Amal movement, the author analyses central narratives to the group’s discourse and practices concerning martyrdom to show how identity construction and strategies of legitimizing power are intertwined. Moreover, the book provides insides into political competition strategies, especially in regards to the two major Shiʿite political actors, Amal and Hizbullah, and takes a new look on martyrdom by going beyond cultural-religious explanations.

  • Modern political history of martyr cults and identities in Lebanon: common features and differences, functions and effects
  • Contemporary martyr myths, memorials and rites identified through participant observations, literature analysis and interviews
  • Case study on the Amal movement: political history, discourse and practices 

Target Groups 
  • Lectures and students of political science, near and middle eastern studies, conflict studies
  • Scholars and professionals interested in Lebanon and the Middle East

The Author 
Sabrina Bonsen is a political scientist and received her doctorate from the University of Marburg. Her fields of research are contemporary political actors and societies in the Middle East.


Martyr Cults Political Identities in Lebanon Victory or Martyrdom Struggle of the Amal Movement Lebanon Martyrdom Shiite Politics Political Parties Civil war Political Rites Hizbullah Identity Politics Symbol Politics Memory Politics Sectarianism Musa al-Sadr Nabih Berri

Authors and affiliations

  • Sabrina Bonsen
    • 1
  1. 1.MühlackerGermany

Bibliographic information