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A History of the 'AlawisFrom Medieval Aleppo to the Turkish Republic$
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Stefan Winter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167787.001.0001

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Beyond the Mountain Refuge

Beyond the Mountain Refuge

‘Alawism and the Sunni State (Thirteenth–Fifteenth Centuries)

(p.43) 2 Beyond the Mountain Refuge
A History of the 'Alawis

Stefan Winter

Princeton University Press

This chapter addresses what can in effect be described as the consolidation of the ʻAlawi community in a newfound “compact” form. It argues that the receding tide of Shiʻism did not expose the ʻAlawis to a Sunni or Mamluk backlash, but rather permitted the community to cement both its religious leadership and identity and its position vis-à-vis the state. On the local level, the thirteenth century was witness to an intense debate over the limits of ʻAlawi orthodoxy, a debate that helped give the doctrine its final form and established the ʻulama as the community's uncontested religious authority, but in doing so also removed religion from the sphere of everyday life. Drawing on the Khayr al-Saniʻa as well as a wide range of medieval literature, the subsequent sections explore the relationship between the ʻAlawi community and the Mamluk state beyond the trope of enmity and persecution.

Keywords:   ʻAlawi community, ʻAlawis, Shiʻism religious leadership, ʻAlawi orthodoxy, Mamluk state

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