In today's program, I speak with Richard E. Antaramian about his recent monograph, Brokers of Faith, Brokers of Empire: Armenians and the Politics of Reform in the Ottoman Empire (Stanford University Press, 2020).
In Brokers of Faith, Brokers of Empire, Antaramian shows that the Armenian Church and clergy--spread across the empire in a vast ecclesiastical network--played an important role in the application of Ottoman reform programs during the mid-nineteenth century. His main intervention to the scholarship is to show that Armenians were not uniformly opposed to Ottoman centralization. Furthermore, Through his study of the Armenian Church, he challenges the well-known paradigm of "center and periphery" by offering a networked model of empire. For experts and novices alike, this book will not only offer a compelling new perspective into Ottoman and Armenian history, but also surprise you with new insights on Kurdish-Armenian relations in Eastern Anatolia in the 19th century.