Throughout its history, the Ottoman Empire built its strength on a capacity to include and encompass a huge number of territories, from the Balkans to North Africa, with distinct socio-political balances produced by the constant interplay between different religious affiliations and lifestyles. The Ottoman imperial system emerged, therefore, as an intricate and complex network of subsystems that the cen- tral administration controlled and ruled, combining a precise ideology of power and social order based on Islam and a pragmatic strategy that ranged from direct control to cooptation and delegation according to geographic conditions and local balances of power.1 Far from being a set of self-absorbed fragments immune to change, each subsystem evolved and transformed along with Ottoman administration according to the historical period and under the pressure of different internal and external fac- tors. At the same time, given the complexity of the numerous local groups and cul- tural networks crossing and within each subsystem, even if tensions and armed conflicts along communal lines erupted throughout Ottoman history, there were also many indicators of harmonious social interactions which transcended socio-political and religious boundaries, undermining the idea and image of the existence of her- metic communities defined solely by national and religious criteria.2 Certain identi- ties with reference to others, from whom to be distinguished or with whom to bond and form an alliance, existed but they were part of the larger Ottoman society where local groups and cultural networks could not be considered fixed or passive.3 This multiform and branching image of Ottoman society is also complicated by the pres- ence of numerous different borderlands.
|Numero di pagine||25|
|Rivista||Middle Eastern Studies|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2014|
- Ottoman Empire
- Religion and politics
- Religious community