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A Nation of EmpireThe Ottoman Legacy of Turkish Modernity$
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Michael Meeker

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225268

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225268.001.0001

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Social Relations and Official Islam

(p.40) 2 Prohibition
A Nation of Empire

Michael E. Meeker

University of California Press

This chapter serves as the author's second account of his fieldwork in the district of Of. It introduces the term “hodja from Of,” which represents a stereotype for educated urbanites throughout the Turkish Republic. The chapter explains how the local elites and social thinking and practice are connected to Islamic belief and practice, and also examines the tradition of religious study, specifically its “upward” relationship to the state system and its “downward” relationship to ordinary townsmen and villagers. The question of why the hodjas specialized only in official Islam and neglected all its other versions is addressed.

Keywords:   hodja, educated urbanites, social thinking, local elites, Islamic belief, religious study, official Islam

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