Hagia Sophia, which means “divine wisdom” in Greek, has been subjected to many worldly yearnings of power and symbolism. There is no doubt that altering the status of the great church has always meant domination through control of its symbolism. President Erdogan frequently uses the Ottoman conquest and the right of the sword as part of his symbolic political vocabulary. However, there is a world of difference between the Ottoman conquest and transformation of the Church and Erdogan’s reversal of Ataturk’s decision.
Text editing and video production: Karen Barkey, Rachel Park Video editing: Marco Lucidi
You can also find the video on the Reset DOC website here.
Karen Barkey, current Director of the Shared Sacred Sites project, wrote a piece on “The Road Ahead for US Democracy” for ResetDoc in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the wave of protests against racism and police violence across the country.
“The demonstrations, the return of the people of all racial, ethnic, gender, age and socio-economic categories to the public square is encouraging. We are experiencing a renewed and exhilarating demand for change….
This new coalition of the street cannot be, must not be, a passing, fleeting moment in our American Spring. It must be permanent.”
The Center for Democracy, Religion and Toleration (CDTR), The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) at the University of California Berkeley and ResetDOC, Dialogue of Civilizations have undertaken a new project on toleration from different traditions around the world.
This workshop will bring together scholars from across the world to discuss their work on the long, global history of toleration. In addition to five thematic panels, the workshop will host a keynote lecture by Professor Denis Lacorne(Senior Research Fellow at the Centre d’Etudes et des Researches Internationales, Sciences Po). You can find the schedule for the workshop and information on the participants on these pages.
Following the comparative workshop on April 3rd and 4th 2020, we plan to prepare a volume with selected materials on toleration, brief analytic essays that situate the writings within their particular geographic and temporal sites and relate them comparatively to ideas and practices of toleration in other parts of the world. This volume promises to provide an important selection of materials on toleration across time and space with a comparative frame that will reveal the highly diverse origins of the concept of toleration. We hope to historicize the concept of toleration, thereby also putting into question the often-uncritical assumption that the articulation of the ideal is primarily an intellectual achievement of a strand of thought in Europe or, more generally, the West.