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20182018

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Biography

Umur is a MEB (Turkish Ministry of National Education) funded PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen.

Umur's research is looking at the history of the conflicts over the sacred status of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Focusing on the sacred at the Western Wall within a specific historical context (British Mandate period), he aims to form a conceptual frame of the sacred within which the historical and empirical aspects of the sacred places can be discussed from a sociological point of view. 

Prior to his PhD, Umur graduated with an MSc in Sociology in 2017 from the University of Glasgow and gained his undergraduate degree of BA (Hon) in Sociology from Akdeniz University in 2012. In order to get a more in-depth insight into the philosophical and theological approaches to the study of religion, he also spent two years studying the philosophy of religion at Dokuz Eylul University Philosophy and Religious Studies Department in Izmir, Turkey. 

Focusing on the social scientific analysis of religion, Umur completed two dissertations in sociology: "The Question of Religion in Constructing Classical Sociology: Max Weber" and "Woman in Islam: A Gender Perspective."

Research Profile

  • Social/sociological theory and philosophy and methodology of social sciences.
  • Historical Sociology; social transformation and cultural studies
  • Sociology of Religion (especially with reference to culture, politics and social conflicts)
  • Sociology of Space/Place (especially in relation to history, religion, and politics)

Grants & Awards

MEB (Turkish Ministry of National Education) PhD Scholarship 2018-2022

Research Overview:

Umur's current research investigates the history of the local and international disputes and conflicts over the sacred status of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Focusing on the sacred at Western Wall within a specific historical context (British Mandate period), he aims to form a conceptual frame of the sacred within which the historical and empirical aspects of the sacred places can be discussed from a sociological point of view. He seeks to achieve this by providing a three-fold analysis: (1) A discussion on the distinction between religious and the sacred to clarify how and to what extent these two concepts are erroneously conflated or referred to interchangeably in much of the studies pertaining to the sacredness of the Western Wall; (2) an exploration of the construction of the Western Wall as a contested sacred place with specific consideration of its spatial dimensions, which opens up the question of what constitutes a sacred place or how it is that some places hold a profound sense of sacredness; (3) a historical examination of the meanings and interpretations assigned to the sacred at the Western Wall as socio-political conflicts took place, in order to understand the extent of socio-political relations in constructing, developing or transforming this sacredness. He believes that this analysis will offer a helpful corrective to the tendency in the literature in sociology to interpret the sacred with limited consideration of the significance of its specific social, historical and spatial contexts.

This research is supervised by Dr Andrew McKinnon and Dr Marta Trzebiatowska, both of the sociology department at the University of Aberdeen.

Research Keywords:

Religion, Sacred, Politics, Historical Sociology, Sacred Place, the Western Wall, British Mandate, Jerusalem

Education/Academic qualification

Arts & Social Sciences, Masters Degree, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 9 Sep 2017

Arts & Social Sciences, Bachelors Degree, Akdeniz University

Award Date: 8 Jun 2012

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