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Kizilbash-Alevis in Ottoman Anatolia - Sufism, Politics and Community

English · Hardback

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Explores the transformation of the Kizilbash from a radical religio-political movement to a religious order of closed communities

The Kizilbash were at once key players in and the foremost victims of the Ottoman-Safavid conflict that defined the early modern Middle East. Today referred to as Alevis, they constitute the second largest faith community in modern Turkey, with smaller pockets of related groups in the Balkans. Yet several aspects of their history remain little understood or explored. This first comprehensive socio-political history of the Kizilbash/Alevi communities uses a recently surfaced corpus of sources generated within their milieu. It offers fresh answers to many questions concerning their origins and evolution from a revolutionary movement to an inward-looking religious order.

Key Features
. The first comprehensive social history of the Kizilbash/Alevi communities
. Combines conventional sources with newly discovered ones generated within the Kizilbash-Alevi milieu itself
. Argues for a readjustment in focus from pre-Islamic Central Asia to the cosmopolitan Sufi milieu of the Middle East when exploring genealogies of popular Islam in Anatolia
. Explores the influence of Iraqi Sufism on popular Islam in late medieval and early modern Anatolia
. Shows the potential of Sufism to provide a basis for social order and give rise to distinct communities
. Offers a critical assessment of the long-standing Köprülü paradigm in the field of religious and cultural history of Anatolia
. Provides a new perspective on the Ottoman-Safavid conflict, and on Sunni-Shi¿i confessionalisation in the early modern period
. Opens new avenues of research in the study of other heterodox communities in the Islamic world
. Includes family histories of a number of Kizilbash/Alevi saintly lineages in central and eastern Anatolia to tell their story from an internal viewpoint

Ayfer Karakaya-Stump is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary, Virginia.

List of contents

List of Illustrations


Note on Transliteration

List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1. The Iraq Connection: Abu'l-Wafa¿ Taj al-¿Arifin and the Wafa¿i Order

Chapter 2. The Forgotten Forefathers: Wafa¿i Dervishes in Medieval Anatolia

Chapter 3. Haci Bektas and His Contested Legacy: The Abdals of Rum, the Bektashi Order, and the (Proto-)Kizilbash Communities

Chapter 4. A Transregional Kizilbash Network: The Iraqi Shrine Cities and Their Kizilbash Visitors

Chapter 5. Mysticism and Imperial Politics: The Safavids and the Making of the Kizilbash Milieu

Chapter 6. From Persecution to Confessionalization: The Consolidation of Kizilbash/Alevi Identity in Ottoman Anatolia





About the author

Ayfer Karakaya-Stump is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary. She has published articles in Turcica, International Journal of Turkish Studies and British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and has published a monograph in Turkish with Bilgi University Press (2015).

Product details

Authors Karakaya Stump Ayfe, Ayfer Karakaya-Stump
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Languages English
Product format Hardback
Released 31.12.2018
EAN 9781474432689
ISBN 978-1-4744-3268-9
No. of pages 272
Series Edinburgh Studies on the Ottoman Empire
Edinburgh Studies on the Ottom
Subjects Humanities, art, music > Religion/theology > Other religions
Non-fiction book > History > Miscellaneous

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