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Writing Religion


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ; Prologue: Alevism Contested ; Introduction: Genealogies and Significations ; Part 1: Missionaries, Nationalists, and the Kizilbas-Alevis ; Chapter 1: The Western Discovery of the Kizilbas-Alevis ; Chapter 2: Nationalism, Religion, and Inter-Communal Violence ; Chapter 3: Entering the Gaze of the Nationalists ; Part 2: Mehmed Fuad Koprulu (1890-1966) and the Conceptualization of Inner-Islamic Difference ; Chapter 4: Nationalism, Historiography, and Politics ; Chapter 5: Religiography: Taxonomies of Essences and Differences ; Chapter 6: Alevi and Alevilik in the Work of Fuad Koprulu and His Legacy ; Conclusion: Tropes of Difference and Sameness - The Making of Alevism as a Modernist Project Notes ; Bibliography ; Index

About the Author

Markus Dressler is currently Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Goettingen.


Markus Dressler s work is absolutely brilliant in its critical and elaborate reading of the ways in which the Alevi identity in Turkey has been historically and politically constructed. * Middle East Journal *
A most valuable book on Turkey's politics...rigorously researched...Dressler's study of Alevism in Turkey is a highly valuable contribution to the understanding of the problems posed by the Kemalist policies of authoritarian or assertive secularism in Turkey. * Today's Zaman *
Writing Religion is at once the first 'critical genealogy' of the field of Alevi studies and an outstanding investigation into the impact of Euro-American concepts commonly used in the study of religion on the representation, scholarly examination, and governmental management of religious communities outside western contexts. Dressler sets a new standard in the study of 'Alevism' in Turkey and simultaneously makes a major contribution to methodology in the study of religion. * Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Professor of History, University of Maryland *
Writing Religion is a masterful study that attends to method for history's sake. It is at once a revealing cautionary tale about the missteps of 'back reading' history and a guide for moving forward with analyses unencumbered by classic modernist constraints. Markus Dressler's keen study of Alevism - and its myriad constructions in the hands of scholars and politicians, among others * establishes a veritable roadmap for 'thinking Islam' in fresh ways. *
This thought-provoking and provocative but historically sensitive contribution is the best examination I have seen of the political foundation for the Kizilbas communities renamed 'Alevis.' Dressler's interpretation will be a prime resource for both scholarship and public policy concerning the religio-secular debate in Turkey. * M. Hakan Yavuz, author of Toward an Islamic Enlightenment: The Gulen Movement *

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