Honored by the Glory of Islam by Marc David BaerHonored by the Glory of Islam by Marc David Baer

Honored by the Glory of Islam

byMarc David Baer

Hardcover | December 5, 2007

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In Honored by the Glory of Islam Marc David Baer proposes a novel approach to the historical record of Islamic conversions during the Ottoman age and gathers fresh insights concerning the nature of religious conversion itself. Rejecting any attempt to explain Ottoman Islamization in terms of the converts'' motives, Baer instead concentrates on the proselytizers-in this case, none other than the sultan himself. Mehmed IV (1648-87) is remembered as an aloof ruler whose ineffectual governing led to the disastrous siege of Vienna. Through an integrated reading of previously unexamined Ottoman archival and literary texts, Baer reexamines Mehmed IV''s failings as a ruler by underscoring the sultan''s zeal for bringing converts to Islam. As an expression of his rededication to Islam, Mehmed IV actively sought to establish his reputation as a convert-maker, convincing or coercing Christian and Jewish subjects to be "honored by the glory of Islam," and Muslim subjects to turn to Islamic piety. Revising the conventional portrayal of a ruler so distracted by his passion for hunting that he neglected affairs of state, Baer shows that Mehmed IV saw his religious involvement as central to his role as sultan. He traces an ever-widening range of reform, conversion, and conquest expanding outward from the heart of Mehmed IV''s empire. This account is the first to correlate the conversion of people and space in the mature Ottoman Empire, to investigate conversion from the perspective of changing Ottoman ideology, and to depict the sultan as an interventionist convert maker. The resulting insights promise to rework our understandings of the reign of a forgotten ruler, a largely neglected period in Ottoman history, the changing nature of Islam and its history in Europe, relations between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Europe, the practice of jihad, and religious architecture in urban history.
Marc David Baer, a historian of Religion and Islamic history, is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine.
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Title:Honored by the Glory of IslamFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:336 pages, 6.3 X 9.29 X 1.18 inShipping dimensions:336 pages, 6.3 X 9.29 X 1.18 inPublished:December 5, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195331753

ISBN - 13:9780195331752

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From the Author

In Honored by the Glory of Islam Marc David Baer proposes a novel approach to the historical record of Islamic conversions during the Ottoman age and gathers fresh insights concerning the nature of religious conversion itself. Rejecting any attempt to explain Ottoman Islamization in terms of the converts'' motives, Baer instead concentrates on the proselytizers-in this case, none other than the sultan himself. Mehmed IV (1648-87) is remembered as an aloof ruler whose ineffectual governing led to the disastrous siege of Vienna. Through an integrated reading of previously unexamined Ottoman archival and literary texts, Baer reexamines Mehmed IV''s failings as a ruler by underscoring the sultan''s zeal for bringing converts to Islam. As an expression of his rededication to Islam, Mehmed IV actively sought to establish his reputation as a convert-maker, convincing or coercing Christian and Jewish subjects to be "honored by the glory of Islam," and Muslim subjects to turn to Islamic piety. Revising the conventional portrayal of a ruler so distracted by his passion for hunting that he neglected affairs of state, Baer shows that Mehmed IV saw his religious involvement as central to his role as sultan. He traces an ever-widening range of reform, conversion, and conquest expanding outward from the heart of Mehmed IV''s empire. This account is the first to correlate the conversion of people and space in the mature Ottoman Empire, to investigate conversion from the perspective of changing Ottoman ideology, and to depict the sultan as an interventionist convert maker. The resulting insights promise to rework our understandings of the reign of a forgotten ruler, a largely neglected period in Ottoman history, the changing nature of Islam and its history in Europe, relations between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Europe, the practice of jihad, and religious architecture in urban history.

Editorial Reviews

"Marc Baer offers an innovative interpretation of religious conversion, especially conversion to Islam in the Ottoman age. Lacking enough evidence to speculate on the motives of the converts, he instead focuses on the agency of those who initiated the conversion process - in this case no less than the sultan himself. Baer focuses on the career of Sultan Mehmed IV (r. 1648-87), and on the people who came into direct contact with his court. In this way he sheds important new light on a critical period in the Ottoman Empire''s long history. Baer also convincingly revises the character of Mehmed IV as an inept ruler whose incompetence led to the catastrophic siege of Vienna in 1683. This original study will be of great interest not only to Ottoman specialists, but to students of Islam and of religious conversion." --R.M.Eaton, Professor of History, University of Arizona