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Confraternal religion: from liberation theology to political reversal

Abstract : Heterodox mystics and heretics of any kind become sometimes dangerous and other times reliable depending on political situations, as it was the case with Bektashis in Ottoman Anatolia or in early independent Albania. The historical anthropology perspective taken in this article appears helpful in revealing that Bektashism is probably the mystical order of Islam that best exemplifies a transformational pattern from a theological and ideological as well as cultural, social and political, point of view. The system of beliefs and practices related to Bektashism seems to correspond to a kind of liberation theology, whereas the structure of Bektashi groups corresponds more or less to the type of religious organization conventionally known as "charismatic groups". It becomes understandable, therefore, that their spiritual tendency can meet social, cultural and national perspectives. In turn, when the members of the previously persecuted religious minority have already acquired a degree of religious and political respectability within society at large, the doctrines of heterodoxy and liberation theology fade into the background. In the end, the heirs of the heterodox promoters of spiritual reform and social movement turn into followers and faithful defenders of a legitimate authority. They become the spokespeople for an institutionalized orthodoxy whose support will be sought by the political regime.
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Contributor : Albert Doja Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 12:09:21 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:43:08 AM
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Albert Doja. Confraternal religion: from liberation theology to political reversal. History and Anthropology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2003, 14 (4), pp.349-381. ⟨10.1080/0275720032000156488⟩. ⟨halshs-00405977⟩



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