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Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, n°II

Auteurs : |
Éditeur : Holmes & Meier Publishers Date & Lieu : 1982, New York & London
Préface : Pages : 266
Traduction : ISBN : 0-8419-0520-7
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 150x220 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Ang. Bra. Chr. 1578-2Thème : Religion

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, n°II

Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, n°II

Benjamin Braude,
Bernard Lewis

Holmes & Meier Publishers

For hundreds of years the Ottomans ruled a territory of great ethnic and religious diversity. How did this vast empire stretching from the Balkans to the Sahara endure so long? The contributors to this two-volume work examine the political and social arrangements that made possible the effective functioning of a polyethnic, multireligious society for more than four hundred years.

Written by eminent scholars from the Middle East, Europe, and North America, these papers soberly and objectively weigh the fundamental question of religion and community in the Middle East. Among the topics explored are: the nature of contact between Muslims and non- Muslims; the organizations and institutions of Christians and Jews; the relations between communal leaders and the state; and the interaction between the West and non-Muslim peoples. Using heretofore neglected sources in Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, and Armenian, these essays provide a vital background for students of the area and its three great religions, as well as for those interested in the problems of minorities in plural societies.

Benjamin Braude
is assistant professor of history at Boston College and research associate of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.

Bernard Lewis is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton and a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Studies.


These essays grew out of a research seminar and conference on “The Millet System: History and Legacy. "that was conducted at Princeton University during the spring and summer of 1978. The scope of the book is somewhat narrower than that of the conference. Unfortunately considerations of space and unity of topic made it necessary to omit papers which dealt wholly or mainly with post-Ottoman or non-Ottoman topics. We gratefully acknowledge our debt to all those who participated in the seminar-conference.

A grant from the Ford Foundation to the Princeton University Program in Near Eastern Studies made possible the convening of the seminar-conference. Additional grants from both the Ford Foundation and Princeton University helped defray the costs of publication. Certain other costs were borne by the office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of History, both of Boston College.

The faculty, staff, and students of the Princeton Program and Department of Near Eastern Studies were especially helpful in the organization of the seminar- conference. Particular thanks are due Mrs. Mary Craparotta, Mrs. Grace Edel- man, and Mrs. Judy Gross.

We benefited from able graduate assistance. Alan Iser, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard reviewed the manuscript for consistency. Alan Makovsky, Near Eastern Studies at Princeton, reviewed the bibliography. Shayndel Feuerstein, Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard, translated portions of the text from French to English. John Feeley and James Nealon of Boston College helped correct the galleys.

A special word of appreciation is due the late Morroe Berger who, as Chairman of the Program in Near Eastern Studies, first conceived this project and gained support for it. His death came before its publication. These volumes are dedicated to his memory.


Benjamin Braude

In 1517 Sultan Selim's conquest of Syria and Egypt expanded the territory of the Ottoman Empire to include the heartland of Islam which was also the home of the ancient Christian churches of the East and numerous, mostly Arabic-speaking, Jewish communities. Copts, Maronites, Jacobites as well as other smaller communities now entered the Ottoman domain. Consistent with their ad hoc policies, the conquerors were content, for the most part, to let local conditions determine the collection of taxes and relations with ecclesiastical authorities (see below chapter 1, by Amnon Cohen, and chapter 2, by Muhammad Adnan Bakhit). The conquest also brought into the empire additional communicants of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches. The Greek Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria eventually submitted to the authority of Constantinople. On the other hand, because the leadership of the Armenian church was divided between Ejmiacin, Cilicia, and Istanbul itself, local Armenian communities retained a certain freedom of action. Of all the empirewide groups, the pattern of authority of the Jewish community was the least affected by the conquest.

For nearly a millennium, these peoples of the East had lived under Islam. The Ottoman conquest merely exchanged one Muslim master for another. In the Arabic-speaking lands, the overwhelming majority of Christians and Jews had become linguistically assimilated to the Muslim population. Socially they were less obviously separated and distinctive than their coreligionists in Ottoman Europe. Concomitantly their numbers had dwindled and their influence upon society was small.

With few exceptions, the indigenous churches of the newly conquered lands were isolated from the West. They were regarded as schismatics by Roman Catholicism and, for that matter, by Greek Orthodoxy. The origins of these conflicts date from the fifth century when a number of theological disputes arose concerning the nature of Christ. Initially there were three major groups. Nes- torius, who from 428 to 431 served as Patriarch of Constantinople, argued that there were two separate natures coexistent in Christ, the human and the divine. The vessel of the Godhead was Christ, a human son of Mary. In opposition to this doctrine, Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, argued that Christ was of a single ...

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