The 'Alawī Religion: An Anthology

Meir M. Bar-Asher, Aryeh Kofsky

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology


The ‘Alawī religion, known for most of its history by the name Nuṣayriyya, emerged in Iraq over a millennium ago. An esoteric, syncretistic religion with a close affinity to Shī‘ī Islam, its origins are shrouded in obscurity. Over time, beliefs and rituals deriving from paganism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity were grafted to the radical Shī‘ī substrate, giving the religion its distinctive character. Throughout their history the ‘Alawites were a persecuted religious minority, but in the 1970s they came to power in Syria and retained absolute rule until recently. There is also a significant population in Hatai Province in southern Turkey.
Arising from the authors’ long-standing interest in the ‘Alawī religion, this anthology offers for the first time a selection from the distinctive literature of the mysterious religion. The book opens with a detailed introduction setting the background for the themes it will cover: the mystery of the divinity in the ‘Alawī faith; rituals and ceremonies; calendar and festivals; the doctrine of reincarnation; initiation into the divine mysteries and the esoteric circle; and finally, the identity and self-definition of the religion’s followers vis-à-vis Islam and other religions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTurnhout, Belgium
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Number of pages221
ISBN (Electronic)9782503597829
ISBN (Print)9782503597812
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameBibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études, Sciences Religieuses


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