Markus Dressler @ CEU Budapest
The KFG's Senior Researcher Markus Dreßler will present a public lecture on "Building and Contesting Orthodoxies: Changes in the Concept of Din in the Late Ottoman Context" on 29 March 2018 at the Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies of CEU Budapest.
Markus Dreßler's inquiry into the transformation of knowledge about religion in the Ottoman Empire starts in the early 19th century at a time when the Ottoman Empire underwent radical changes. The examples that he will show the audience date, with one pre-modern exception, from the period between the 1850s and 1920s. He is interested in how Ottoman-Muslim understandings of Islam and concepts related to it such as din/religion changed in the course of the dynamics of that period, generally described as a period of intensified modernization. His project seeks to trace evidence of how, gradually, a new semantic field of religion/din emerged that was clearly different from earlier notions, moving closer to the emerging world-religion discourse that developed in 19th century Western Europe in the context of colonial and imperial encounters. In his presentation Dressler will provide examples of this transformation and chart the historical dynamics that need to be considered to contextualize and explain it. This will also help to genealogically situate Kemalist secularism/laicism (Tr. laiklik), which was formulated and institutionalized in the 1920s and 1930s.