The Plain of Saints and Prophets: The Nusayri-Alawi Community of Cilicia (Southern Turkey) and Its Sacred Places
The book is the first detailed study on the Nusayri-Alawi community of Cilicia available in a Western language. The Alawis are an Arabic speaking religious minority of ca. 300,000 people living in the Turkish provinces of Adana and Mersin. The book contains chapters devoted to the history of Alawi settlement, the community's identity and social structures, and prejudices they have to face from the majority population. Also covered are religious practices like feasts and beliefs like metempsychosis. The heart of the book is an analysis of the numerous Alawi sanctuaries. Long-term field research enabled the authors to document a vital, highly mobile practice of saint veneration performed at continuously changing sacred places. Besides a catalogue of nearly 200 shrines and several detailed case-studies there are chapters on the age and origins of the sacred places, the rites performed there, and the structure of the pilgrims. A major aim of the study is to present the local Alawi saint veneration in a broader Islamic context by describing the "sacred landscape", analyzing current changes and tendencies, and discussing the paramount role of women in the practice of saint veneration and in the perceived sacredness of the holy places.
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List of sketches maps and figures
The Low Plain of Cilicia
The Alawis of Cilicia
The Sacred Places
Case studies of selected sanctuaries
Adana Adanahoglu Akkapi al-AdhanT al-HakTm al-Khadir Alawi community Alawi sanctuaries Alawi shaykhs Alevi alms box Associated legends Badr Bahce baraka Bilal Cagimlar caretaker cenotaph censers century chap Cilicia Cilician Alawis concrete courtyard Cukurova Description 1996 dome door Dussaud entrance Evliya Celebi Fartacek Fatiha feasts flat roof green building green cloth Halm Hatay Husayn IbrahTm Iconography incense inscription Interior Islam Kacar Karacailyas Karatas Karayusuflu Kazanh Kofsky Koran Kriss & Kriss-Heinrich large number laylat al-qadr Location Mahallesi maqam marked mawlid mentioned Mersin Miqdad mosque Muhammad Muslim NabT neighborhood Nusayri Ottoman pilgrims pillows prayers Prochazka prophet rags Ramadan real graves region religious rites sacred places Sacred precinct Seyh Seyhan Seyhan River Shaykh Muhammad shrine slaughtering-place sokak square stories Structure Sunni Sunni Islam Syria Tarsus terebinth told tree Turkey Turkish flags Turks village wall Weulersse whitewashed woman women Yakakoy Yunus Yusuf ziyaret