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Tabriz New Catholic Church: A Construction of Urban Constitutional Crisis (1908-1912)

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

In 1910, parts of Iran were under Russian occupation. In the occupied northwestern city of Tabriz, the French Catholic mission began to build a new church, which today is one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Previous scholarship has not explored the history of this edifice. This article locates the establishment of this church in the urban history of Tabriz. It elucidates the geopolitical context of the city during a period of widespread social turmoil. Using an array of French and Persian archival documents, the paper narrates a story with crucial details about strangers becoming friends and friends collaborating with one another to build an urban construction in the midst of protest, revolution, and war.

Affiliations: 1: Yale University


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