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The Role of Cyrus Hamlin, Pragmatism, and Robert College in Turkish Modernization

Journal: Efil Ekonomi Araştırmaları Dergisi (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 16-126

Keywords : Turkish Modernization; American Board; Pragmatism; Protestant Ethics; Secularism;

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In this article, we aim at reassessing the role of Robert College in Turkish modernization from a Weberian perspective. Focusing our attention on Cyrus Hamlin's Among the Turks (1878) and My Life and Times (1912), we claim that the impact of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (henceforth, American Board) has become more significant and transparent among the Ottoman Turks after the missionaries at Robert College introduced a pedagogical system that did not only rely on the religious teachings of Protestantism but also on Protestant work ethics that students were able to adopt in their daily lives. Since the establishment of Robert College in 1871, the American Board has cared more about teaching pragmatist and secular principles than spreading the Protestant religion. We conclude that Turkish students who graduated from Robert College did not convert to Christianity; they rather have become reformist citizens who embraced the Protestant work ethics and believed in secular life styles for generations.

Last modified: 2021-09-21 22:56:16