You are kindly invited to the seminar titled as ‘ “Religion and Science”: The late Ottoman case in a global debate’, organised by the Department of History.
Date: 12 October 2023, Thursday
Avenue: AZ-31 Department of History’s Seminar Room
Title: “Religion and Science”: The late Ottoman case in a global debate
Speaker: M. Alper Yalçınkaya
The late nineteenth century was a time of intense debate about the relations between religion and science. Some of the most influential works making the case that science and religion could only be in conflict were published in this period, and comparing religions in terms of their compatibility with science became a popular intellectual activity in many parts of the world. In this talk, I will provide examples to the late Ottoman debate on science and religion, and argue that rather than being a debate shaped exclusively by internal dynamics, the Ottoman case can be seen as consisting of specific contributions to a global debate, and better understood in terms of actors and ideas that traveled between different contexts. A main conclusion of this approach is that the global debate on “religion and science” ultimately involved the construction of “religion” and “science” as universally applicable categories.
M. Alper Yalçınkaya received his BA and MA in Sociology from Middle East Technical University, and his PhD degree in Sociology and Science Studies from the University of California, San Diego. After having worked as assistant and associate professor of sociology at Ohio Wesleyan University between 2010 and 2022, Yalçınkaya returned to Turkey and joined TED University’s Department of Sociology.
A historical sociologist of science and religion, Yalçınkaya has numerous journal articles and is author of Learned Patriots: Debating Science, State and Society in the Nineteenth Century Ottoman Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Yalçınkaya’s research interests also include social theory, cultural sociology, sociology of art, sociology of emotions, and intellectual history.