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Conversion and Apostasy in the Late Ottoman Empire

$108.00 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107004559

$ 108.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • The commonly accepted wisdom is that nationalism replaced religion in the age of modernity. In the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire, the focus of Selim Deringil's book, traditional religious structures crumbled as the empire itself began to fall apart. The state's answer to schism was regulation and control, administered in the form of a number of edicts in the early part of the century. It is against this background that different religious communities and individuals negotiated survival by converting to Islam when their political interests or their lives were at stake. As the century progressed, however, and as this engaging study illustrates with examples from real-life cases, conversion was no longer sufficient to guarantee citizenship and property rights as the state became increasingly paranoid about its apostates and what it perceived as their “denationalization.” The book tells the story of the struggle for the bodies and the souls of people, waged between the Ottoman State, the Great Powers, and a multitude of evangelical organizations. Many of the stories shed light on current flash-points in the Arab world and the Balkans, offering alternative perspectives on national and religious identity and the interconnection between the two.

    • Sheds light on issues of conversion, apostasy and the relationship between religious communities in the late Ottoman Empire
    • Real-life case studies illustrate the dangers associated with religious conversion as the state negotiated its own survival
    • Engagingly written, the book will make a significant contribution to the study of conversion, interfaith relations and the history of the late Ottoman Empire
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107004559
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. 'Avoiding the imperial headache': conversion, apostasy and the Tanzimat state
    2. Conversion as diplomatic crisis
    3. 'Crypto-christianity'
    4. Career converts, migrant souls, and Ottoman citizenship
    5. Conversion as survival: mass conversions of Armenians in Anatolia, 1895–7
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Selim Deringil, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Istanbul
    Selim Deringil is Professor of History at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the author of The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the Legitimation of Power in the Ottoman Empire, 1876–1909 (1999).

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