EXC 2060 A3-32 - Law in Religious Spaces: Ottoman Religious Endowments (waqf) in Post-Ottoman Southeast Europe

Project Number
EXC 2060/1
Type of Funding
Subproject in DFG-joint project hosted at WWU
  • Description

    Scholars agree that the Islamic endowments (waqf, pl. awqāf) shaped the cultural, religious, and socioeconomic life of Ottoman cities. Yet when it comes to Southeast Europe, the legal position, societal role, and legacy of the waqf institution in the post-Ottoman period remains underexplored. Left to separate national(ist) narratives, the memory (and amnesia) of Islamic endowments acquired strikingly different shapes in different nation states—ranging from its secularization in Turkey to a deep emphasis of its religious and Ottoman roots in Bosnia—while the bigger picture of the complex legacy of the institution remains obscured. This project traces the post-Ottoman afterlives of waqf in Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Habsburg Bosnia, by focusing in particular on the legal and spatial aspects of the institution’s destruction and decline. It places the Southeast European waqf in a broader context of intertwined processes of secularization, modernization, and colonialism, in and beyond the Middle East.

  • Persons