Why Label Alevi Islam as Shi`ite?: A Comparative Inquiry into Alevi Identity Outside of the Sunni-Shi`ite Framework

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The Alevis represent the most significant minority religious group in Turkey and the Alevi question represents a unique ethnic and religious challenge for the Turkish state. Although the number of academic studies on Alevism have dramatically increased in the last three decades, the question of whether Alevism is a branch of Shiism still remains a neglected subject of the Alevi literature. The majority of recent works on Alevism have automatically and straightly classified Alevism as Shiite due to the shared religious elements by the two groups. They did not intend, however, to analyze, compare and contrast those Shiite currents as to how they are applied/perceived in Shiism and Alevism. By using a comparative study of religion methodology, this research seeks to provide an elaborative analysis on the distinguishing features of the Alevi belief system, in relation to the Alid cause. While analyzing the contemporary approaches and archival of the official and historical records on Alevi belief, the particular focus of this dissertation is to understand, decode, and theorize the status of Alevism in conjunction with and separate from Sunnism and Shiism. In doing so, this dissertation argues that most of the existing scholarship fails to conceive of the Alevi differences outside of the Sunni-Shiite framework.

Doctor of Philosophy
Turkey, Islam, Alevis, Shi`ite, Bektaşi, Buyruk, Ottoman.

Erdogdu Basaran, Reyhan. "Why Label Alevi Islam as Shiite?: A Comparative Inquiry into Alevi Identity Outside of the Sunni-Shiite Framework." (2018) Diss., Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/105643.

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