Eastern Christians in the Ottoman Empire, 14th-18th Centuries
The course will survey recent developments in “Eastern Christian Studies,” particularly as they pertain to the research on Greek-, Slavic-, and Armenian-speaking Christians in the Ottoman Empire between the 14th and 18th centuries. Studies on Christians in the Ottoman Empire have tended to completely disregard the Ottoman context, approaching the history of Ottoman Christians from exclusive communal and/or national perspectives, without creating meaningful connections with the overall trajectory of Ottoman history and dynamics in Muslim communities around the empire. The course will address the challenge of moving beyond writing history of particular Christian groups to conceiving of a history of an early modern Eastern Christianity reacting to and in dialogue with contemporary trends in Catholic and Protestant Christianity as well as Ottoman Sunni Islam.
The course will teach students to critically approach questions about “national,” “communal” and “religious” identities in the early modern period and carefully examine their connections to the modern-day groups and identity politics. It will also encourage students to think globally in terms of early modern religious dynamics, beyond national, religious and geographic boundaries engrained in the historiography of Christian (and Muslim) groups in the Ottoman Empire.
Participation in the discussion: 15 pts
Discussion leading: two times during the semester (20 pts)
Response papers: two 5-page response papers (30 pts, 15 pts each)
Final assignment: 10-page long paper (35 pts)