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Honored by the Glory of IslamConversion and Conquest in Ottoman Empire$
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Marc David Baer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331752.001.0001

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Hunting for Converts

Hunting for Converts

(p.179) 9 Hunting for Converts
Honored by the Glory of Islam

Marc David Baer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Like other early modern monarchs, hunting was the favorite pastime of Mehmed IV, but rather than being merely a frivolous activity, as modern historians have claimed, the sultan's contemporary chroniclers argued that hunting demonstrated his bravery and courage, hence manliness, and trained him for warfare. Reading archival records together with the chronicles shows that hunting allowed Mehmed IV close contact with thousands of his subjects, and in these circumstances he personally converted Christians, in particular, to Islam. Hundreds of men and women changed religion at his feet during conversion ceremonies in which the sultan displayed his magnanimity by re-dressing the converts head to toe. This chapter demonstrates the uniqueness of the period and its convert-making sultan while utilizing the book's themes of the link between piety and proselytization, the key role of the mediator of conversion, and the context of war and conquest in conversion.

Keywords:   Mehmed IV, religious conversion, hunting, Christians, Islam, sultan, piety, proselytization

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