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Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World: The Roots of Sectarianism (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) Hardcover – 6 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (6 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521803330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521803335
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,800,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'… this book is extremely well written … It deserves a wide audience.' Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

'This extremely well-researched and insightful book is of great interest not only to academics, but also to a wider readership eager to understand the present turmoil in the former provinces of the Ottoman Empire and to imagine solutions to their crises.' Middle Eastern Studies

'The richness of the book in terms of scope, its careful argument in the interpretation of individual events and actions, based on primary source material of various kinds, and the well organized synthesis of numerous divergent strains, offer more than a unified new key to the sectarian violence of the 19th century. It will certainly become an important assignment in graduate and undergraduate courses on the Arab World in Ottoman times, and on minorities in the Middle East in general.' JESHO

'… a valuable contribution to our understanding of the relationship of religion, identity, and politics in the Arab Middle East.' Rebecca Bryant, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Book Description

Masters explores the evolution of Christian and Jewish communities in the Ottoman empire over four hundred years. Early communities lived with the hierarchy of Muslim law, but the nineteenth century marked the beginning of tensions between Muslims and Christians and the twentieth-century rhetoric of religious fundamentalism.

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A well researched account of the life conditions of the Christian minorities and the Jews mainly in Greater Syria with a particular focus on the impact of the Western intrusions on these communities. The missionary educational efforts coupled with the commercial activities of the Europeans gave these minorities considerable confidence with the improvement of their educational and economic status. By the same token it caused greater divisions within the national Orthodox Church with conversions to Catholicism and alienated the Christian communities from the mainstream Muslim society leading to outbursts of murderous riots in Aleppo and Damascus in the middle of the 19th Century.

My only reservation is that the title is a bit misleading,as the author concentrates his attention mainly on the Syrian Christians and the Jews of Baghdad ,with minimal cover of the Copts of Egypt and the Iraqi Christians. In fact a large part of the book deals with the Christian commercial elites of Aleppo , a great commercial centre in the 17-18 Centuries.
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