Sehrengiz is an Ottoman genre of poetry written in honor of various
cities and provincial towns of the Ottoman Empire from the early
sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century. This book
examines the urban culture of Ottoman Istanbul through Sehrengiz,
as the Ottoman space culture and traditions have been shaped by a
constant struggle between conflicting groups practicing political
and religious attitudes at odds. By examining real and imaginary
gardens, landscapes and urban spaces and associated ritualized
traditions, the book questions the formation of Ottoman space
culture in relation to practices of orthodox and heterodox Islamic
practices and imperial politics. The study proposes that Azehrengiz
was a subtext for secret rituals, performed in city spaces,
carrying dissident ideals of Melami mysticism; following after the
ideals of the thirteenth century Sufi philosopher Ibn al-'Arabi who
proposed a theory of 'creative imagination' and a three-tiered
definition of space, the ideal, the real and the intermediary
(barzakh). In these rituals, marginal groups of guilds emphasized
the autonomy of individual self, and suggested a novel proposition
that the city shall become an intermediary space for reconciling
the orthodox and heterodox worlds. In the early eighteenth century,
liminal expressions of these marginal groups gave rise to new urban
rituals, this time adopted by the Ottoman court society and by
affluent city dwellers and expressed in the poetry of NedA┬«m. The
author traces how a tradition that had its roots in the early
sixteenth century as a marginal protest movement evolved until the
early eighteenth century as a movement of urban space reform.
|Country of origin:
B. Deniz Calis-kural
||Electronic book text
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