Pluralismo religioso e multiculturalismo nell’Impero ottomano: il sistema dei millet
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A particular pre-modern form of management of multiculturalism and religious pluralism is represented by the Ottoman Empire which, despite being a confessional State that welcomed Islam as a state religion, recognized to the members of the other two monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity, the freedom to profess one’s religious faith freely and to establish oneself in separate enclaves with broad spheres of self-government. In fact, each religious community exercised genuine legislative and jurisdictional autonomy in certain well-defined areas of public and private law. The Ottoman Sultans, far from pursuing the forced conversion of all subjects to the Islamic religion, see in the religious factor and in the multi-confessional nature of the Empire an organizational principle of State power and an instrument for preserving the stability of the State. It is the millet system founded on the institute of divine law of the dhimma. After providing some historical coordinates about the origins of the system, this contribution describes its fundamentals and functioning.
keywordsmillet, dhimma, multiculturalism, religious freedom, Ottoman Empire.
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