Islam and Modernity in Turkey by B. Silverstein

By B. Silverstein

Unlike a lot of the Muslim international, a majority of Turks think about Islam to be basically a question of private selection and personal trust. How did such an association happen? furthermore, such a lot observant Muslims in Turkey don't see this type of notion and perform of Islam as illegitimate. Why not? Islam and Modernity in Turkey addresses those questions via an ethnographic examine of Islamic discourses and practices and their articulation with mass media in Turkey, opposed to the history of overdue Ottoman and early Republican precedents. This ground-breaking ebook sheds new gentle on problems with commensurability and distinction in tradition, faith, and historical past, and reformulates our knowing of Islam, secularism, and public existence in Turkey, the Muslim international, and Europe.

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17 The Ottomans were dealing with problems on several fronts at the time the edict was promulgated, which had led historians to debate its sincerity. Two points are worth emphasizing about the edict. First is the circumstances and concrete form in which the Ottomans undertook liberal reform. The very existence of the empire was threatened by the insurgent governor of Ottoman Reform, Islamic Tradition, and Historical Difference 41 Egypt, Mehmet Ali, but also by increasingly destabilizing and serious interventions by foreign powers under the pretext of protecting Christians from Ottoman despotism and predation.

To be sure, MacIntyre’s account of how these concepts relate to one another, and what their status is in the West in the aftermath of the Enlightenment, is controversial, and I do not intend to defend his ultimate claims about this. But I find his linking up of practice, tradition, and ways of life as inspired by differing ideas of human flourishing (“excellence” in his term) useful and will take it up in the pages that follow. By analyzing Islam with the concept of tradition, we will also be in a better position to see how Islam sits with the category of religion, and specifically the historical process through which Islam was made into a religion in the Ottoman Empire.

11 The Ottoman reformers also immediately realized that all of this was going to be extremely expensive. Hence they began a review of the state’s income, an identification of “productive” resources, the management of finances and their expenditures, and an attempt to render each of these more efficient, soon leading to a full-blown administrative reform. In hindsight, these reforms amount to the onset of a new Ottoman governmentality. 12 The Ottomans began to send delegations to other European capitals to consult on the new techniques, seeking to incorporate them into their military, and requested the services of advisers from Paris, London, and Berlin.

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