Muslim Conversions to Orthodox Christianity in Modern Greece

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The Greek Community of Melbourne announced a new lecture as part of its successful ongoing seminar series on Greek culture, titled: Proselytes of a New Nation: Muslim Conversions to Orthodox Christianity in Modern Greece, 1821-1862 which will take place Thursday 11 August 2022, 7 pm
thru its online platforms.

The lecture will be presented by Dr Stefanos Katsikas, Associate Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies and Assistant Instructional Professor at the University of Chicago.

The seminar  will answer questions such as: Why did many Muslims convert to Orthodox
Christianity in Modern Greece? What did conversion mean to the converts? What were
their economic, social, and professional profiles? And how did conversion affect the
converts' relationships with Muslim relatives in Greece and the Ottoman Empire?

Because the Ottoman legal system could keep Muslims who had converted to other religions from
inheriting family property, the presentation examines how conversion complicated family
relations and often led to legal disputes.

The presentation argues that religious conversion
in the era of nationalism was far more consequential for the convert, their family, and social
relations. Converts received not only community attention but also national.


Stefanos Katsikas Photo
Stefanos Katsikas is Associate Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies and Assistant
Instructional Professor at the University of Chicago. He holds a PhD in Social Sciences from
the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) at the University College London
(UCL).

His research lies in the modern and contemporary history of Southeastern Europe,
especially in diplomatic history, the study of democratization, regional security, inter-ethnic,
inter-religious and minority-state relations.

He is the author of Proselytes of a New Nation:
Muslim Conversions to Orthodox Christianity in Modern Greece (2022), Islam and
Nationalism in Modern Greece, 1821-1940 (2021), and Negotiating Diplomacy in the New
Europe: Foreign Policy in Post-Communist Bulgaria (2011), which received a Scouloudi
publication award from the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Katsikas is
also the editor of Bulgaria and Europe: Shifting Identities (2010); and co-editor of State-
Nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, Greece, and Turkey: Orthodox and Muslims (1830-
1945) (2012).

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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