Fatalism has become a "dirty word" for Ottoman historians. For most of us, the term evokes Orientalist tropes of a piece with Ottoman “decline,” “despotism,” or “sensuality.” While this is understandable in view of invidious stereotypes, I feel it is misguided. In this article, I revisit fatalism in the early modern Ottoman Empire, both to provoke and make a point about our field, namely its neglect of all things theological. It takes fatalism seriously as a theological issue and for what it can reveal about our subjects: Muslim inhabitants of the empire, and how they saw their place as worldly creatures, spiritual beings, and moral agents in a larger divine order.
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Aca'ib: Occasional Papers on the Ottoman Perceptions of the Supernatural|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jan 2022|