Alevism as an ethno-religious identity: Contested boundaries

Jenkins, C., Cetin, U. and Aydin, S. (ed.) 2018. Alevism as an ethno-religious identity: Contested boundaries. London Routledge.

TitleAlevism as an ethno-religious identity: Contested boundaries
EditorsJenkins, C., Cetin, U. and Aydin, S.

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 to communities and nations and can be a force for unity or division as the case of the Alevis as an ethnic and religious community demonstrates. Alevis constitute approximately 20% of the Turkish population and are 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 are the Alevis and where do 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 both interdisciplinary and contributes to wider debates concerning ethnicity, religion, migration and trans/national identity within and across ethno-religious boundaries.

KeywordsAlevi, ethno-religious community, identity, Turkey, religious conflict
Publication dates
Published06 Apr 2018
Place of publicationLondon

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