January 3 - 23, 2013
Few places in the world today match the complexities and ambiguities, or embody the confluence of ancient and modern, secular and sacred, European and Asian, Christian and Muslim, of Turkey.
And in few places is the question of the role of religion in public life so pressing. This course explores the topic both historically, through evidence ranging from the Turkish conquest of the Greek Christian Byzantine Empire in the fourteenth century to the founding of the secular Turkish Republic in the twentieth, and by observing the society of contemporary Turkey.
Site visits include Istanbul, Edirne, Bursa and Nicaea, Ankara, Ephesus and Pergamum.
Readings introduce the inclusive vision of the human encounter with God of the medieval mystic Rumi; the history of the Christian-Jewish-Muslim encounter and dialogue in the Ottoman era through case studies; and the situation of modern Turkey through Muslim writers Bediüzzaman Said Nursi and Fethullah Gülen, hugely influential but little known in the West.
Before departure students read a book and write a take-home test; while traveling students visit historic sites, listen to evening lectures, participate in and lead structured discussions, and keep a journal; on return students write an integrative paper.
This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. Prerequisite: IDIS 150. Fee: $3,700.