Book review: The Nusayrt-Alawis: an introduction to the religion, history and identity of the leading minority in Syria

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2015-11
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Authors
Kreinath, Jens, 1967-
Advisor
Citation

Yaron Friedman, The Nuṣayrī-ʿAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria The Nuṣayrī-ʿAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria by Yaron Friedman Review by: Jens Kreinath History of Religions, Vol. 55, No. 2 (November 2015), pp. 225-229 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Article DOI: 10.1086/683070

Abstract

This monograph by Yaron Friedman is the result of a dissertation and presents a study of the Nuṣayrī-ʿAlawīs, a secret religion that historically was called Nuṣayrīyyah by outsiders but became known early in the twentieth century as ʿAlawīyyah, as was used by its members. It is currently the most comprehensive study based on recently published primary sources pertaining to their system of beliefs. In his monograph, Friedman has the ambition to counter the most common views on the Nuṣayrī-ʿAlawīs found in Western publications that tend to reiterate Orthodox Sunni perspectives by depicting them as heretics, even though they would perceive themselves as true Muslims. Analyzing all available historical sources, Friedman documents thoroughly the religious tradition of the Nuṣayrī-ʿAlawīs, who originated in Iraq during the ninth century.

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