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Writing ReligionThe Making of Turkish Alevi Islam$
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Markus Dressler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969401.001.0001

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Alevi and Alevilik in the Work of Fuad Köprülü and His Legacy

Alevi and Alevilik in the Work of Fuad Köprülü and His Legacy

(p.239) 6 Alevi and Alevilik in the Work of Fuad Köprülü and His Legacy
Writing Religion

Markus Dressler

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an attempt to trace and systematize the meanings given to the term Alevi in the work of Köprülü. Marked by the taxonomic devices discussed in the previous chapter, the Bektashis and Kızılbaş-Alevis were labeled Turkish and “heterodox” Islamic and in that sense perceived as religiously ambivalent. This signification became path-defining for scholarly as well as academic understandings of Alevism until today. Analysis of the work of Köprülü’s direct students, as well as of those later scholars of Anatolian nonelite Islam who continued to work in his footsteps, most prominently Irène Mélikoff and Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, shows this clearly. The chapter aims at opening new paths of investigation that would allow us to transgress the nationalist and religionist assumptions inherent in much of the scholarship in the Köprülü tradition.

Keywords:   Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alevi, Bektashi, concepts, continuity, heterodox Islam, Irène Mélikoff, Kızılbaş-Alevis, Köprülü tradition, Turkish Islam

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