Transjordan during the 19th century. Reconsidering the relation between Arab tribes and Christian religious communities

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


The article aims to reconsider the history of Ottoman Transjordan during the second half of the nineteenth century. Istanbul’s decision to impose its direct control over this province triggered a process of evolution and change within local political spaces. The traditional balance of power was altered and tribes were forced to accept the authority of the Ottoman Empire. States and tribes were not the only political actors. Christian religious institutions also participated in the dynamics of change. The article reconsiders the history of a Christian village of Transjordan, Madaba, to describe the complex relationship between tribes and Christian religious communi- ties during this period of change and evolution. The section Karak highlights the main aspects that characterized the refoundation of Madaba. In the section The Exodus and the Rebirth of Madaba, the exodus of several Christian tribes from Karak to Madaba is analyzed to explain the overlap and intertwinement between the different cultural horizons and sociopolitical logics of the two actors. The section The Village of Madaba analyzes some episodes of daily life in Madaba to detail the consequences of the interaction between tribes and religious communities. Finally, the functioning of the local sociopolitical space on which the Hashemite emirate was later founded is explained. The religious community-tribe dyad was, in fact, part of the transition from “the tribe to the state.”
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)65-83
Numero di pagine19
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • Religion and politics
  • Religious communities and Tribes
  • Transjordan
  • Tribalism
  • Tribes


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