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IFEA Histoire 2020-2021 Scholar-Bureaucrats and the Making of the Early Modern Ottoman Empire: Bearers of Authority, Legitimacy, and Expertise

Réalisation : 15 février 2021 Mise en ligne : 15 février 2021
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Descriptif

In the pre-modern Ottoman Empire, a large group of Muslim scholars, specialists of Islamic religious knowledge, constituted a significant branch of the Ottoman bureaucracy. In addition to participating in the transmission of religious knowledge and providing religious guidance, these scholars acted as the agents of the sultans’ government, serving as judges, financial officials, administrative investigators, diplomats, etc. They pursued a career in government service, climbing up a ladder of hierarchically organized positions with regular promotions. The functions they fulfilled and the form of their relationship with the government distinguished these scholars from their predecessors and their contemporary colleagues. They were a unique group, and deserve a unique label: “scholar-bureaucrats.”

 Muslim scholars traditionally claimed the moral authority in the Islamic world and usually esteemed independence from the ruling authorities. For this reason, their incorporation into the government was a significant development. It was a gradual process and had many ups and downs and turning points. From the second half of the fifteenth century, many factors, such as the construction of largescale educational complexes, the institutionalization of the state, international developments, and scholars’ increasing desire to participate in the government, dynamically interacted and brought about the rise of the group of scholar-bureaucrats.

The special position of scholar-bureaucrats was one of the distinctive characteristics of the early modern Ottoman Empire. Scholar-bureaucrats contributed legal and administrative expertise to the Ottoman government. They also helped the Ottomans to acquire and strengthen their legitimacy. Last but not least, the presence of scholar-bureaucrats hindered the rise of a body of religious authorities, with parallel and competing claims to those of the government. 

 

Thèmes
Notice
Langue :
Anglais
Crédits
Denis HERMANN (Organisation de l'évènement)
Conditions d'utilisation
Droit commun de la propriété intellectuelle
Citer cette ressource:
IFEA-GD. (2021, 15 février). IFEA Histoire 2020-2021 Scholar-Bureaucrats and the Making of the Early Modern Ottoman Empire: Bearers of Authority, Legitimacy, and Expertise. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. https://www.canal-u.tv/107617. (Consultée le 22 mai 2022)
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