23 April 2017

3630) Millets And Confessional Communities In The Ottoman Empire: Brief Study Of Changing Frames Of Reference And Distorted Interpretations In Relation To A Key Ottoman Institution by Rhoads Murphey

Millets And Confessional Communities In The Ottoman Empire: Brief Study Of Changing Frames Of Reference And Distorted Interpretations In Relation To A Key Ottoman Institution by Rhoads Murphey

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The debate over what the term millet actually meant or implied in both semantic and historical terms in an Ottoman context is both long-standing and still fraught with contention and disagreement, fueled by a not inconsiderable degree of definitional confusion. Before entering into a discussion of its meaning and significance in the Ottoman era it will be best if we examine the meaning of the term in its pre-Ottoman usage. In classical and Koranic Arabic its lexical meaning is unambiguous. The triliteral root mim lam lam when used as a noun can only mean religion or belief and practice in respect of religion (1). Its meaning in any other sense is simply not attested. As defined in Lane’s lexicon the correct term for confession, denomination, creed or communion is not millet (plural millel) but nihla (plural nihal) which refers to religious practice and custom as distinct from religious belief (2). By a stretch this latter term could be applied to confessional community but, it could never encompass or be used to convey a sense of nation or people as defined by either ethnicity or linguistic preference.

In the broader sense of religious community the recognized groups who could be considered as . .
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