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ThingsReligion and the Question of Materiality$
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Dick Houtman and Birgit Meyer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239450

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239450.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Structural Transformation of the Coffeehouse: Religion, Language, and the Public Sphere in the Modernizing Muslim World

The Structural Transformation of the Coffeehouse: Religion, Language, and the Public Sphere in the Modernizing Muslim World

Chapter:
(p.267) The Structural Transformation of the Coffeehouse: Religion, Language, and the Public Sphere in the Modernizing Muslim World
Source:
Things
Author(s):

Michiel Leezenberg

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823239450.003.0016

This chapter discusses the Ottoman coffeehouse against the backdrop of the understanding that the emergence of the coffee house in seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Western and Central Europe indicates the rise of a modern liberal and secular public sphere. The new institution of the coffeehouse (just like coffee itself) had, after all, been imported from the early modern Ottoman Empire, where it had emerged as early as the sixteenth century, thus well before any substantial European influence. The Ottoman coffeehouse, it is argued, operated as a Foucauldian “heterotopia,” constituting a public and secular counterpart to the mosque. The absence of the outspoken anticlericalism featured by its European counterpart reveals, however, the Eurocentrism of Habermas's rationalist conceptualization of the public sphere.

Keywords:   Public sphere, Ottoman Empire, Ottoman coffeehouse, European coffeehouse, Heterotopia, Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas

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