Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

Third Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain

Date of Defense



For nearly fifteen hundred years, the Hagia Sophia has been a constant figure in Istanbul, Turkey. The building has been the symbol of Christianity for the Byzantine Empire, Islam for the Ottoman Empire and Secularism for Republic of Turkey. It is rare that one building has had the ability to symbolize both religion and politics in the manner in which the Hagia Sophia has. One of the goals of this research is to examine the historical circumstances that have allowed this symbolism to occur. The other goal of this research is to examine the current voice that wishes to return the Hagia Sophia back to a place of worship. To properly understand this voice, it will require scrutinizing the obstacles necessary for religious groups to overcome to achieve this, as well as determining if this is even a viable option.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 License.



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).