Date: Monday July 20, 2015
Place: Boğaziçi University South Campus, Rectorate Conference Hall
Sectarianism in the Middle East in an Age of Western Hegemony, 1860-1948
Ussama S. Makdisi
Professor of History Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies
The conventional view of sectarianism in the Middle East is that it
reflects age-old, endemic religious tensions, and that it reflects
a problem in the region's adaptation to a secular Western modernity.
Sectarianism has often been depicted as a holdover of primordial
religious divisions that make up the Middle East. In contrast, this talk
suggests that the sectarian crisis in the Middle East has its roots in
the nineteenth century Ottoman Empire crisis of religious pluralism that
has important parallels in both Europe and the United States.
Ussama Makdisi is the author of The Culture of Sectarianism: Community,
History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (2000),
Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of
the Middle East (2008), and Faith Misplaced: the Broken Promise of U.S.
-Arab Relations, 1820-2001 (2010).