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Secularism in the Arab WorldContexts, Ideas and Consequences$
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Aziz al-Azmeh

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474447461

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474447461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The Reformist State and the Universalist Orientation

The Reformist State and the Universalist Orientation

(p.85) 2 The Reformist State and the Universalist Orientation
Secularism in the Arab World

Aziz al-Azmeh

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter sketches state-reformist initiatives in the late Ottoman empire, considered as systemic transformations in a global context of modern state forms with associated forms of social engineering and state intervention in culture and law-making. It proposes that the consequence of these changes and transformations were secularising, intended as well as unintended. The chapter discusses the beginnings of educational and cognitive transformation, the rise of a new class and type of senior bureaucrats, the emergence of a modern intelligentsia, the appearance and spread of new forms of dress. Also discussed are counter-vailing, conservative reactions, both by religious institutions, resistant to reform and the attrition of authority, and conservative milieu more broadly. The issue of women’s education, dress and public visibility emerges as a site of contestation.

Keywords:   Ottoman Modernisation, Secular education, Legal reforms, Social engineering, Ambivalences of Citizenship, The feminine question, Cognitive modernisation, New cultural forms, Modern intelligentsia, Conservative and religious resistances

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