Subduing the Saints: State Control over Sufi Lodges in Late Ottoman and Modern Turkey
A lecture by Prof. Brett Wilson (CEU). Increasing state control over religious institutions has played a pivotal role in modernization projects in Turkey dating back to the early nineteenth century. In 1925, the Turkish state abolished Sufi orders (mystical brotherhoods) and shuttered their lodges in what was, for the 1920s, among the most radical interventions by a state in the everyday practice of Islam. This act marked the culmination of a century religious reforms in the late Ottoman Empire and set the stage for the development of underground Islamic networks that formed both pious social movements as well as Islamic politics in modern Turkey.
Brett Wilson is Associate Professor of History at Central European University. He received his PhD at Duke University in 2009 and is the author of Translating the Qur'an in an Age of Nationalism: Print Culture and Modern Islam in Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2014)