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Entangled Confessionalizations?

Dialogic Perspectives on the Politics of Piety and Community Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th-18th Centuries


This volume explores the emergence of discourses of orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 18th centuries, through empirical studies on confessional dynamics in early modern Muslim, Christian and Jewish sources.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4357-9
  • *
Publication Status: Forthcoming
Publication Date: Mar 31,2022
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 812
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4357-9
$195.00
Your price: $156.00

Historians of the early modern Ottoman Empire have long been pointing out that in the early sixteenth century the religious outlook of the sultans and the imperially sponsored hierarchy of religious scholars underwent a shift: while heretofore they had been largely unconcerned with defining, observing or enforcing a Sunni ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy’, they now became increasingly invested in precisely such a project. How did the understanding of what constituted a Sunni orthodoxy and orthopraxy evolve across the spectrum of Ottoman society between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries and how did it affect various Ottoman communities? Was it by chance or perhaps due to similar social and political processes that the growing polarization between Sunnism and Shi‘ism, as well as contemporaneous building of Ottoman and Safavid empires, precisely coincided with the Catholic-Protestant (and later Calvinist) polarization and the rise of confessional states in Europe? Were these contemporaneous projects of defining correct belief and/or practice in some sort of dialogue, and is this dialogue traceable in the sources left by various individuals and communities living in or passing through Ottoman domains between c. 1500 and c. 1750?

The present volume explores these questions and early modern Muslim, Jewish and Christian discourses on communal belonging, ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy’ through the framework of a shared ‘confessional age’, thus obviating the top-down model of inter-confessional relations in which Christians and Jews are always seen solely as Ottoman subjects. It offers a unique perspective on Ottoman society and early modern politics of piety by approaching empire’s religious groups not as homogenous blocks of ‘Muslims’, ‘Jews’ and ‘Christians’ but rather highlighting intra-communal diversity. By adopting a wider Eurasian perspective, contributors explore the repercussions of the developments within various Ottoman communities as far afield as the Safavid Empire, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, and Europe, and vice versa. The papers focus on specific people who disseminated ideas about ritual and creedal normativity and social clusters through which such ideas spread. At the same time, they also explore the limits of such normative discourses and their agents, as well as the role of alternative ideas about confessional and communal belonging informed by various forms of ambiguity.

Historians of the early modern Ottoman Empire have long been pointing out that in the early sixteenth century the religious outlook of the sultans and the imperially sponsored hierarchy of religious scholars underwent a shift: while heretofore they had been largely unconcerned with defining, observing or enforcing a Sunni ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy’, they now became increasingly invested in precisely such a project. How did the understanding of what constituted a Sunni orthodoxy and orthopraxy evolve across the spectrum of Ottoman society between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries and how did it affect various Ottoman communities? Was it by chance or perhaps due to similar social and political processes that the growing polarization between Sunnism and Shi‘ism, as well as contemporaneous building of Ottoman and Safavid empires, precisely coincided with the Catholic-Protestant (and later Calvinist) polarization and the rise of confessional states in Europe? Were these contemporaneous projects of defining correct belief and/or practice in some sort of dialogue, and is this dialogue traceable in the sources left by various individuals and communities living in or passing through Ottoman domains between c. 1500 and c. 1750?

The present volume explores these questions and early modern Muslim, Jewish and Christian discourses on communal belonging, ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy’ through the framework of a shared ‘confessional age’, thus obviating the top-down model of inter-confessional relations in which Christians and Jews are always seen solely as Ottoman subjects. It offers a unique perspective on Ottoman society and early modern politics of piety by approaching empire’s religious groups not as homogenous blocks of ‘Muslims’, ‘Jews’ and ‘Christians’ but rather highlighting intra-communal diversity. By adopting a wider Eurasian perspective, contributors explore the repercussions of the developments within various Ottoman communities as far afield as the Safavid Empire, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, and Europe, and vice versa. The papers focus on specific people who disseminated ideas about ritual and creedal normativity and social clusters through which such ideas spread. At the same time, they also explore the limits of such normative discourses and their agents, as well as the role of alternative ideas about confessional and communal belonging informed by various forms of ambiguity.

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ContributorBiography

Tijana Krstić

Tijana Krstić, Ph.D. (2004), University of Michigan, is Associate Professor at Central European University in Vienna, Austria. She works on early modern Ottoman cultural and religious history, and is the author of Contested Conversions to Islam (Stanford University Press, 2011) and co-editor, with Derin Terzioğlu, of Historicizing Sunni Islam in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1450–c. 1750 (Brill, 2021).

Derin Terzioğlu

Derin Terzioğlu, Ph.D. (1999), Harvard University, is Associate Professor of History at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. She has published numerous articles on early modern Ottoman religious, cultural and intellectual history, and is co-editor, with Tijana Krstić, of Historicizing Sunni Islam in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1450–c. 1750 (Brill, 2021).

Table of Contents (v)
Acknowledgments (ix)
Notes on Transliteration (xi)
List of Abbreviations (xiii)

1. Introduction - Tijana Krstić (1)

PART I: ENTANGLED CONFESSIONALIZATIONS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
2. Can We Speak of ‘Confessionalization’ beyond the Reformation? Ottoman Communities, Politics of Piety, and Empire-Building in an Early Modern Eurasian Perspective - Tijana Krstić (25)

PART II: VISIONS AND REALITIES OF COMMUNAL AUTHORITY
3. Two Visions of Rabbinic Authority and Their Ottoman Context: The Legal Worldviews of Joseph Caro (d. 1575) and Joseph Sambari (d. c. 1703) - Roni Weinstein and Guy Burak (117)
4. Grigor Daranałcʿi: An Armenian Chronicler of Early Modern Mass Mobility - Henry Shapiro (139)
5. Confession-Building and Authority: The Great Church and the Ottoman State in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century - Eleni Gara and Ovidiu Olar (159)
6. Whose Realm, His Bishop: Orthodox Patriarch’s Flock beyond the Borders of the Ottoman Empire in the Seventeenth Century - Vera Tchentsova (215)
7. Sheikh ül-islam Feyzullah Efendi and the Armenian Patriarch Awetikʿ: A Case of Entangled Confessional Disciplining? - Cesare Santus (233)

PART III: VARIETIES OF TEXTUAL COMMUNITIES IN THE OTTOMAN ARENA OF CONFESSIONAL POLARIZATION
8. Kabbalistic Fraternities of Ottoman Galilee and Their Central European Members, Funders, and Successors - Carsten Wilke (255)
9. The Commandment (Buyruk): An Introduction to the Sacred Texts of the Kizilbash-Alevi Community - Rıza Yıldırım (285)
10. The Abdals of Rum and the Development of Competing Muslim Confessional Identities in the Early Modern Eastern Balkans - Nikolay Antov (313)
11. Orthodox Martyrdom and Confessionalization in the Ottoman Empire, Late Fifteenth–Mid-Seventeenth Centuries - Yorgos Tzedopoulos (335)
12. Catholic Confessional Literature in the Christian East? A View from Rome, Diyarbakır, and Mount Lebanon, ca. 1674 - John-Paul A. Ghobrial (383)

PART IV: POLEMICAL ENCOUNTERS IN AN INTER-IMPERIAL PERSPECTIVE
13. Masjed-e Jameʿ-ye ʿAbbasi: A Twelver Shi‘ite Congregational Mosque in the Context of the Debate on the Friday Prayer in the Safavid World - Damla Gürkan-Anar (401)
14. On the Margins of Empire: Confessionalization and the East Syrian Schism of 1552 - Lucy Parker (429)
15. From Doctrinal Persuasion to Economic Threats: Paolo Piromalli’s Missionary Work among the Armenians and His Conversion Strategies - Paolo Lucca (451)
16. Intra-Armenian Polemics and Confession-Building in Ottoman Constantinople: The Case of Gēorg Mxlayim Ōłli (1681/85–1758) - Anna Ohanjanyan (489)
17. Orthodox Confession-Building and the Greek Church between Protestantism and Catholicism: The Mission of Marquis Nointel to the Levant (1670–1673) - Margarita Voulgaropoulou (521)

PART V: CONTEXTUAL LIMITS OF CONFESSIONAL AMBIGUITIES
18. Confessional Ambiguity in the Age of Confession-Building: Philo-Alidism, Sufism and Sunni Islam in the Ottoman Empire, 1400–1700 - Derin Terzioğlu (563)
19. Grand Vizier Koca Sinan Pasha and the Ottoman Non-Muslims - Nenad Filipović (625)
20. On the Legal Status of Yezidis: Law, Geography and Confession-Building in Early Modern Kurdistan (Sixteenth-Eighteenth Centuries) - Yavuz Aykan (673)
21. Brokering Tridentine Marriage Reforms and Legal Pluralism in Seventeenth- Century Northern Ottoman Rumeli - Emese Muntán (701)
22. Shi‘ite-Iranian Pilgrims and Safavid Agents in Holy Sites under Ottoman Rule, 1690–1710 - Selim Güngörürler (725)

Afterword: Entangled Confessionalizations—A European Perspective - Alexander Schunka (745)

Index (763)

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