Alevism as an Ethno-Religious Identity: Contested Boundaries

1st Edition

Celia Jenkins, Suavi Aydin, Umit Cetin

Routledge
May 1, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 130 Pages
ISBN 9780367519100 - CAT# 379926

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Summary

Until recently the importance of religion in the modern world has often been underestimated in Western societies, whereas its significance is absolutely crucial in the Middle East. Religion is critical to a sense of belonging for communities and nations, and can be a force for unity or division. This is the case for the Alevis, an ethnic and religious community that constitutes approximately 20% of the Turkish population – its second largest religious group. In the current crisis in the Middle East, the heightened religious tensions between Sunnis, Shias and Alawites raise questions about who the Alevis are and where they stand in this conflict. With an ambiguous relationship to Islam, historically Alevis have been treated as a ‘suspect community’ in Turkey and recently, whilst distinct from Alawites, have sympathised with the Assad regime’s secular orientation. The chapters in this book analyse different aspects of Alevi identity in relation to religion, politics, culture, education and national identity, drawing on specialist research in the field. The approach is interdisciplinary and contributes to wider debates concerning ethnicity, religion, migration and trans/national identity within and across ethno-religious boundaries. 

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the National Identities journal.

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