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The Kizilbash-Alevis in Ottoman AnatoliaSufism, Politics and Community$
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Ayfer Karakaya-Stump

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474432689

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474432689.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

From Persecution to Confessionalisation: Consolidation of the Kizilbash/Alevi Identity in Ottoman Anatolia

From Persecution to Confessionalisation: Consolidation of the Kizilbash/Alevi Identity in Ottoman Anatolia

Chapter:
(p.256) 6 From Persecution to Confessionalisation: Consolidation of the Kizilbash/Alevi Identity in Ottoman Anatolia
Source:
The Kizilbash-Alevis in Ottoman Anatolia
Author(s):

Ayfer Karakaya-Stump

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474432689.003.0007

Alevi documents that were issued by Ottoman authorities recognising related families as Sufi dervishes and/or sayyids form a point of departure of the analysis in this chapter that focuses on relations between the Ottoman state and the Kizilbash communities. While such documents might be interpreted simply as manifestations of Ottoman religious tolerance and administrative pragmatism, this chapter approaches them in the light of the key argument of this book that emphasises the Sufi genealogies of Kizilbash/Alevi saintly lineages. In assessing relations between the Ottoman state and the Kizilbash communities, a special emphasis is placed on the sixteenth-century Kizilbash persecutions and their ruinous impact on the Sufi infrastructure of the Kizilbash milieu. I contend that the persecutory measures employed against the Kizilbash, rather than being viewed within such binaries as tolerance versus intolerance and politics versus religion, ought to be understood in connection to a range of other developments in Ottoman history, including most importantly the process of Sunni confessionalisation that entailed the demarcation of boundaries of acceptable Sufism. Pressures for confessionalisation would also pave the way for Kizilbashism to evolve from a social movement comprising a diverse range of groups and actors into a relatively coherent and self-conscious socio-religious collectivity.

Keywords:   Ottoman Sufism, confessionalization, confessional turn, Ottoman-Safavid conflict, Kizilbash persecutions, Sufis of Ardabil, Yavuz Sultan Selim, Ebussuʿud, Sunnitization, Kizilbash confessionalisation

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