ASP Lecture. “Between Religious and Secular: Impact of the 1908 Revolution on Religious Politics in the Ottoman Empire.”
The lecture deals with the ways in which the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 led to changes in the dynamics of power among non-Muslim religious communities of the Ottoman Empire. It will demonstrate the ways in which the revolution influenced ecclesiastic politics in Istanbul, Mount Lebanon, and Jerusalem. What was the impact of the revolution on the non-Muslim communities? How and why did these ethno- religious communities internalize the revolution? Why was the revolution more successful in creating new orders among certain ethno-religious groups? Why was the attempt unsuccessful among other groups? The cases of Istanbul (Armenians and Jews), Mount Lebanon (Maronite Church), and Jerusalem (Greeks, Armenians, and Jews) provide good examples of how the revolution shook the traditional foundations of these ecclesiastic powers. The lecture contends that post-revolutionary ethnic politics in the Ottoman Empire should not be viewed from the prism of political parties alone, but rather through ecclesiastic politics, which was a key factor in defining inter- and intra-ethnic politics. Interestingly, despite the fact that the revolution aimed at creating a modern secular Ottoman citizen whose loyalty was to the state, it nevertheless strengthened the ethno-religious political centers of the ethnic groups.
Sponsors: ASP, CMENAS
Bedross Der Matossian, assistant professor of history, University of Nebraska–Lincoln