From Muslim Citizen to Christian Minority: Tolerance, Secularism, and “Double-Conversion” In Turkey


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




In the last decade, Muslim citizens, claiming Armenian descent, have sought the arbitration of secular legal authorities of the Turkish Republic to convert back to Christianity, the religion of their ancestors. This dissertation examines double conversion, that marks both conversion from Islam to Christianity and conversion from a majority status to that of a religious minority. Armenian converts’ efforts to convert back present a vital site for investigating the discourse and experience of religious freedom at the intersection of majority/minority status. This project studies the sociopolitical effects of religious conversion and explores the ways in which the process of conversion has organized around discourses of secularism, tolerance and religious freedom.