The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State

By Ozdalga, Elisabeth | The Middle East Journal, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State


Ozdalga, Elisabeth, The Middle East Journal


The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State, by Kemal Karpat. Oxford, UK and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ix + 422 pages. Notes to p. 479. Bibl. to p. 508. Index to p. 533. $ 49.95.

Reviewed by Elisabeth Ozdalga

The well-known historian of Ottoman Turkey and the Middle East, Kemal H. Karpat, has added yet another book, this one of well over 400 closely written pages, to his already impressive oeuvre. His new work is about the development of modernity in the late Ottoman Empire, and its aim is "to examine all the background forces that, by conditioning the transformation (and ultimate disintegration) of the Ottoman Empire, opened the way to the emergence of nation-states in the Middle East and the Balkans, especially Turkey. International events as well as domestic political, economic, structural, cultural-religious, and educational factors are considered to the extent they contributed to the transformation" (p. 19).

This is an immense task, especially as Karpat seems to have adopted a "historical sociology"' perspective. His works of reference are the classical sociologists Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Joseph Schumpeter; and many of the historians and sociologists who carried this methodological tradition into the twentieth century scholars like E.P. Thompson, E.J. Hobsbawm, Ernest Gellner, Benedict Anderson, and Anthony D. Smith. The author is well versed in this tradition of analytical history and offers penetrating explanations drawn from general sociological categories without compromising the historical details of his rich empirical material.

What makes this study especially intriguing, is the author's driving agenda. By emphasizing the role of Islamic revivalism and the leadership of Sultan Abdulhamid II (r. 1876-1909) in this transformation process, Professor Karpat offers a notable challenge to official Turkish historiography. In light of the urgency of his argument and the vigorousness of the analysis, it is no surprise that the idea of this book has been on the author's mind since the beginning of his academic career.

As the subtitle indicates, this work addresses the transformation of identities during a period of deep-going social, economic, and political changes. In spite of the fact that Islamic revivalism is the basic component in this analysis of altering identities, the focus is not on changing interpretations of Islamic beliefs or dogma: it is not Islam as a belief system that attracts his attention, but Islam as a system of ethical norms and values used for political purposes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.