The Nụsayri-'Alawsi religion: an enquiry into its theology and liturgy

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The Nusayrīs - also known as ʿAlawīs -have been in power in Syria for the past three decades. Little is known of their origins or their long history, while their religious creeds and thought are somewhat better known. The main reason for our fragmentary knowledge of the Nusayrī religion is that, since its beginnings, it has always been the secret faith of a self-conscious elite that zealously guarded its sectarian literature. The Nusayrī-ʿAlawī faith is a clear example of a syncretistic religion. It combines and fuses elements of cults and creeds of very disparate, and remote, origins. Among these are various pagan beliefs (residues of ancient Mesopotamian and Syrian cults), as well as Persian, Christian, Gnostic, and Muslim - both Sunnī and Shīʿī - religious precepts and practices. All these components have been brought together in a syncretistic religious system that has assumed a heterodox Shīʿī garb. The present volume presents a mosaic of fundamental aspects of Nusayrī theology and liturgy. It demonstrates the complexity of Nusayrī theology and the diversity of religious thought within the Nusayrī fold.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages244
ISBN (Electronic)9004453504
ISBN (Print)9004125523, 9789004125520
StatePublished - 2002

Publication series

NameJerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture


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