In Reading Islam Fabio Vicini offers a journey within the intimate relations, reading practices, and forms of intellectual engagement that regulate Muslim life in two enclosed religious communities in Istanbul. Combining anthropological observation with textual and genealogical analysis, he illustrates how the modes of thought and social engagement promoted by these two communities are the outcome of complex intellectual entanglements with modern discourses about science, education, the self, and Muslims’ place and responsibility in society. In this way, Reading Islam sheds light on the formation of new generations of faithful and socially active Muslims over the last thirty years and on their impact on the turn of Turkey from an assertive secularist Republic to an Islamic-oriented form of governance.
Life and Politics of Brotherhood in Modern Turkey
Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries)
Buket Kitapçı Bayrı
Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes. Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries) focuses on the perceptions of geopolitical and cultural change, which was triggered by the arrival of Turkish Muslim groups into the territories of the Byzantine Empire at the end of the eleventh century, through intersecting stories transmitted in Turkish Muslim warrior epics and dervish vitas, and late Byzantine martyria. It examines the Byzantines’ encounters with the newcomers in a shared story-world, here called “land of Rome,” as well as its perception, changing geopolitical and cultural frontiers, and in relation to these changes, the shifts in identity of the people inhabiting this space. The study highlights the complex relationship between the character of specific places and the cultural identities of the people who inhabited them.
The Ottoman Empire and Its Tribute-Payers from the North of the Danube. Second Revised Edition
Making use of legal and historical sources, Viorel Panaite analyzes the status of tribute-payers from the north of the Danube with reference to Ottoman law of peace and war. He deals with the impact of Ottoman holy war and the way conquest in Southeast Europe took place; the role of temporary covenants, imperial diplomas and customary norms in outlining the rights and duties of the tributary princes; the power relations between the Ottoman Empire and the tributary-protected principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. He also focuses on the legal and political methods applied to extend the pax ottomanica system in the area, rather than on the elements that set these territories apart from the rest of the Ottoman Empire.
Acquiring Antiquities from Ottoman Lands
Concentrates on the sometimes Greek but largely Roman survivals many travellers set out to see and perhaps possess throughout the immense Ottoman Empire, on what were eastward and southward extensions of the Grand Tour. Europeans were curious about the Empire, Christianity’s great rival for centuries, and plenty of information on its antiquities was available, offered here via lengthy quotations. Most accounts of the history of collecting and museums concentrate on the European end. Plundered Empire details how and where antiquities were sought, uncovered, bartered, paid for or stolen, and any tribulations in getting them home. The book provides evidence for the continuing debate about the ethics of museum collections, with 19th century international competition the spur to spectacular acquisitions.
Sufism, Language, and the Religious Margins in Central Asia, 1400-1900
Thus Spake the Dervish explores the unfamiliar history of marginal Sufis, known as dervishes, in early modern and modern Central Asia over a period of 500 years. It draws on various sources (Persian chronicles and treatises, Turkic literature, Russian and French ethnography, the author’s fieldwork) to examine five successive cases, each of which corresponds to a time period, a specific socially marginal space, and a particular use of mystical language. Including an extensive selection of writings by dervishes, this book demonstrates the diversity and tenacity of Central Asian Sufism over a long period. Here translated into a Western language for the first time, the extracts from primary texts by marginal Sufis allow a rare insight into their world.