American University of Beirut
Tuesday, 29. November 2022, 18:30-19:30
Ḳınālīzāde ʿAlī Çelebī (1510-1572), perhaps the most influential moral philosopher in the history of the Ottoman Empire, wrote his Aḫlāḳ-ı ʿAlāʾī between 1563 and 1565 in Damascus, where he served as the chief judge. Aḫlāḳ-ı ʿAlāʾī had been the most popular and widely discussed ethical work in the Ottoman Empire and it served as the basis of almost all textbooks of ethics until the modern times. It is a masterpiece that is highly representative of the Ottoman spiritual world. In the introduction to his book, Ḳınālīzāde argues that the previous ethics literature had been Persian and should now be considered obsolete. He further argues that he intentionally wrote his book in Turkish because he saw a great need for Turkish ethics literature. Aḫlāḳ-ı ʿAlāʾī eventually became the standard work of ethics in Ottoman madrasas. In this talk, Dr. Fatih Ermiş will discuss, among others, main contributions of Ḳınālīzāde to ethics literature.
Fatih Ermiş received his doctorate from the University of Erfurt with a thesis entitled “Ottoman Economic Thinking before the 19th Century.” He holds an MA in economic history from Marmara University and a BA in economics from Boğaziçi University, both in Istanbul. After completing his PhD, he worked as a research assistant for the Chair of History of West Asia at the University of Erfurt and as a post-doctoral associate at the Centre for Islamic Theology, University of Tübingen. His main research interest is premodern Islamic intellectual history, with a particular focus on intellectual endeavours in Ottoman lands. His works are also concerned with economic, social, religious and literary writing as well as with Sufi thought. He is currently a research associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut.