"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Religion, Ethnicity and Contested Nationhood in the Post-Ottoman World

2014 marks, of course, as I have noted several times recently, the centenary of the outbreak of the so-called Great War, the conflict which, at its end, saw several empires--the Russian, the Habsburg, and the Ottoman--in ruins. As the latter of these empires collapsed, what fate befell its various ethnic groups? How long was the shadow of the Ottoman collapse? Did it extend to our own day? A recent publication I just came across helps us explore these questions more deeply: Jørgen S. Nielsenet et al, Religion, Ethnicity and Contested Nationhood in the Former Ottoman Space (Brill, 2011), 294pp.

About this book we are told:
There has been a growing interest in recent years in reviewing the continued impact of the Ottoman empire even long after its demise at the end of the First World War. The wars in former Yugoslavia, following hot on the civil war in Lebanon, were reminders that the settlements of 1918-22 were not final. While many of the successor states to the Ottoman empire, in east and west, had been built on forms of nationalist ideology and rhetoric opposed to the empire, a newer trend among historians has been to look at these histories as Ottoman provincial history. The present volume is an attempt to bring some of those histories from across the former Ottoman space together. They cover from parts of former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece to Lebanon, including Turkey itself, providing rich material for comparing regions which normally are not compared.

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