Starting date: September 01, 2015
Application deadline: June 30, 2015
The Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University invites applications for a PhD (Junior Visiting Researcher) position within the ERC Consolidator Grant entitled The Fashioning of a Sunni Orthodoxy and the Entangled Histories of Confession Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th-17th Centuries (OTTOCONFESSION). The principal investigator is Dr. Tijana Krstic (Medieval Studies Department/ Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies).
Description of the ERC project:
How and why did the Ottoman Empire evolve from a fourteenth-century polity where “confessional ambiguity” between Sunnism and Shiism prevailed, into an Islamic state concerned with defining and enforcing a “Sunni orthodoxy” by the early sixteenth century? Recent historiography attributes this new concern with “orthodoxy” in the Ottoman Empire to the rise of the rival Shii Safavid Empire beginning in the first decade of the sixteenth century. However, the OTTOCONFESSION project is based on the premise that the evolution of the Ottoman discourse on Sunni orthodoxy can be understood only in a longer perspective that spans the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, and that it was shaped by religio-political dynamics not only in the Safavid Empire but also within Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire and in Europe as well.
The project sets out to demonstrate that although the polarization between Sunni and Shii Islam on the one hand, and Catholic and Protestant Christianity on the other, resulted from the dynamics specific to the Turco-Iranian world and Europe, respectively, the subsequent processes of confession- (and in some cases state-) building were related and constitute an entangled history of confessionalization that spanned Europe and the Middle East. This entanglement resulted in particular from: the Ottomans’ inter-imperial competition with the Safavids, Habsburgs, and Venetians; the spread of various Muslim and Christian communities across imperial borders; and the Ottomans’ permissiveness towards Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist missionary activities among the Empire’s (mostly Orthodox) Christians. The project will investigate the evolution of confessional discourses in the Ottoman Empire in both community-specific and entangled, cross-communal perspectives between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries by focusing on a) the agents and strategies; b) textual genres; and c) sites of confessionalization.
What we offer
The successful candidate will be a full-time PhD student enrolled in the Medieval Studies Department while at the same time having an employment contract with CEU (as a Junior Visiting Researcher). The successful applicant is initially contracted for a period of 12 months, with the preferred starting date of September 1, 2015. Pending on successful completion of the first-year requirements for the PhD students in Medieval Studies department (see above), the contract will be extended by another 4 years. The contract must lead to the completion of a Ph.D. thesis within five years. PhD program in Medieval Studies is accredited both in the US and in Hungary (for more on the program see medievalstudies.ceu.edu).
The gross monthly salary is 1200 EUR. Additionally, the candidate will have access to 1000 EUR per year for travel and research costs.
How to apply: