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Freewill, Predestination, and the Fate of the Ottoman Empire

Freewill, Predestination, and the Fate of the Ottoman Empire
100 St. George Street, Sidney Smith Hall room 2098
Time: Nov 12th, 4:30 pm End: Nov 12th, 6:30 pm
Interest Categories: Slavic Studies (FAS), Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), History (FAS), History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), German (FAS), 1800-1900, 1500-1800
Lecture by Ethan L. Menchinger

The Departments of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies are pleased to present

Ethan L. Menchinger, Ph.D.

Freewill, Predestination, and the Fate of the Ottoman Empire

Although early modern European travelers to the Ottoman Empire often noted its inhabitants’ “fatalism,” to the point of making it an Orientalist stereotype, little has been done to study this fatality as an intellectual phenomenon. In fact, contemporary accounts point to robust debate over fate, freewill, and predestination. What was behind these debates? What issues were at stake? This talk looks at European, Turkish, and Arabic sources from the 17th and 18th centuries and explores the wider significance of freewill in the Ottoman universe–particularly over the concept of political reform–in the hope of shedding light on a milieu that was asking anxious, searching questions about the human condition, the empire, and its ultimate fate.
Thursday, 12 November 2015, 4:30–6:30 pm
Natalie Zemon Davis Conference Room (Sidney Smith Hall 2098), 100 St. George Street

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required.  For further information, please contact the Department of History at (416) 978-3363.

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