Tümkaya, Erkan (2021). ʿAlawi Youth in Germany Narratives of Secrecy, Religious Practices and Identification. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

ʿAlawi Youth in Germany .pdf

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The ʿAlawi community constitutes one of the oldest secret communities originating in what is known today as the Middle East. It is the practice of secrecy that serves as an organisational basis for the ʿAlawi religion. It is the codes of secrecy that set the social and religious boundaries between ʿAlawi men and ʿAlawi women. It is, after all, the politics of secrecy that provide the basis for social relations between ʿAlawis and non-ʿAlawis. In short, secrecy creates a way of life which is implicated in two different worlds. Although most scholars acknowledge ʿAlawis’ widespread concerns about keeping their religious teachings and identities secret, they opt not to investigate the role of secrecy in ʿAlawis’ everyday lives. The present study, drawing on the anthropological theories of secrecy, attempts to explain, for the first time, how Turkish ʿAlawi community’s uncontrolled and historically established practice of secrecy has affected the identification practices, social relations, and religious lives of present-day Turkish ʿAlawi youth in Germany. Even though the first ʿAlawis came to Germany as Gastarbeiter (guest workers) in the 1960s following bilateral labour agreements between Turkey and Germany, this is the first ethnographic (English-language) research on ʿAlawi youth in Germany which has remained unnoticed for a long time among other ethno-religious communities from Turkey.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-610891
Date: 2021
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 4: Außereuropäische Sprachen, Kulturen und Gesellschaften > Orientalisches Seminar > Orientalisches Seminar mit Islamwissenschaft und Indonesischer Philologie
Subjects: Customs, etiquette, folklore
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Alawi youth, Alawism, secrecy, migrant community, GermanyEnglish
Date of oral exam: 17 December 2021
NameAcademic Title
Hendrich, BéatriceApl.Prof.Dr.
Zillinger, MartinProf.Dr.
Kurfürst, SandraProf.Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/61089


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