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Wednesday, October 10 • 10:30am - 11:45am
The Ottoman Caliphate’s Mystical Turn

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Hüseyin Yilmaz traces how a new conception of the caliphate emerged under the Ottomans, who redefined the caliph as at once a ruler, a spiritual guide, and a lawmaker corresponding to the prophet’s three natures. Challenging conventional narratives that portray the Ottoman caliphate as a fading relic of medieval Islamic law, Yilmaz offers a novel interpretation of authority, sovereignty, and imperial ideology by examining how Ottoman political discourse led to the mystification of Muslim political ideals and redefined the caliphate. Caliphate Redefined: The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought is the first comprehensive study of premodern Ottoman political thought to offer an extensive analysis of a wealth of previously unstudied texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish. Sponsored by the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.