A political history of Bektashism in Albania

Abstract : Heterodox mystics and heretics of any kind become sometimes dangerous and other times reliable, depending on political situations, as was the case with the Bektashis. The system of beliefs and practices related to Bektashism seems to have corresponded to a kind of liberation theology, whereas the structure of Bektashi groups corresponded more or less to the type of religious organization conventionally known as charismatic groups. It becomes understandable therefore that their spiritual tendency could at times connect with and meet social, cultural and national perspectives. In turn, when members of the previously persecuted religious minority will acquire 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 is sought by the political regime.
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Albert Doja. A political history of Bektashism in Albania. Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, Taylor & Francis, 2006, 7 (1), pp.83-107. ⟨10.1080/14690760500477919⟩. ⟨halshs-00425475⟩

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