By Oded Peri
A massive factor in 19th-century global politics, the query of Christianity's holiest shrines in Jerusalem is roofed by way of a wide physique of literature. so much of this scholarship, despite the fact that, concentrates at the interval while the query of the Holy websites has already advanced from a family Ottoman challenge into an all-European factor. less is understood approximately this challenge in past instances, whilst the Ottoman Empire used to be nonetheless a dominant energy in a position to suggest suggestions freed from international interference and outdoors pressures. in response to reputable Ottoman documents present in the registers of the kadi's courtroom in Jerusalem in addition to the top Ministry's records in Istanbul, this learn bargains a radical remedy of Ottoman coverage with admire to the Holy websites through the first centuries of Ottoman rule in Jerusalem. It makes a speciality of 3 central matters: (a) The criminal prestige of the Holy websites less than Ottoman rule; (b) The Ottoman nation and the inter-church fight over the Holy websites; (c) The Holy websites as a resource of source of revenue to the Ottoman country. The dialogue of those concerns sheds new gentle on probably the most imprecise and arguable chapters within the background of Christianity lower than Islam in Jerusalem.
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Extra resources for Christianity Under Islam in Jerusalem: The Question of the Holy Sites in Early Ottoman Times (Ottoman Empire & Its Heritage)
The potential contribution of Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem's economy has already been noted. So has the control of Christian ecclesiastical institutions over the economic activity associated with attending to the pilgrims' needs. What is more, it appears that while in Jerusalem, many pilgrims would go beyond paying for their transport, lodging and guidance, and dispense extra money as donations for the benefit of the Christian institutions that provided these services—each according to his church affiliation, the depth of his piety, and of course, the extent of his financial capacity.
Constantine, who had just managed to reunite the Roman Empire under his rule, saw in Christianity a powerful integrative tool that would hopefully preclude re-partition of the realm. It is therefore not a coincidence that the cue for launching the project of locating and unearthing Christianity's most significant sites was given at the same time the Council of Nicaea was meeting to discuss the Arian creed. 63 The newly discovered and monumentalized sites of the Nativity, Crucifixion and Sepulchering fell short of preserving the unity of the Christian world and church.
The same could be said of services. Furthermore, out of the small group of Christians involved in this sector, only ten seem to have been engaged in providing services usually demanded by pilgrims: lodgment, transportation, guidance, etc. This is rather strange in view of the fact that Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land has always been a key element, if not the most important factor, in the economy of Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity. 41 In contrast, unskilled day-laborers (irgat) seem to have had a fairly remarkable presence in Ottoman statistics.
Christianity Under Islam in Jerusalem: The Question of the Holy Sites in Early Ottoman Times (Ottoman Empire & Its Heritage) by Oded Peri