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The Aesthetics of Contemporary Alevi Religious Practice: Rites, Rituals, Ceremonies

Februar 14, 2018@7:00 pm9:00 pm

Alevi ritual practice is a significant means in (re)producing a specific Alevi habitus and cultural identity. It is well known that the cem ritual and the emblematic semah were formative in the so-called Alevi revival. Representations of such performances became core symbols of ‘Aleviness’. Despite this, Alevis often complain of a lack of ‘authenticity’ of the contemporary Alevi ritual. And yet, contemporary rituals and ceremonies still preserve rites and ritual elements constitutive for the Alevi tradition. By drawing on a large body of audio-visual material collected from 2003 to 2010, this lecture will present examples from a systematic analysis of the repertoire and structures of transnational ritual practice, focussing on its aesthetics.

Robert Langer

holds an M.A. (Islamic Studies, Cultural Anthropology) and a PhD, both from the University of Heidelberg, where he was appointed ‘Privatdozent’ with a venia legendi for ‘Islamwissenschaft’ in 2016. Since October 2017, he has been a senior researcher at the Orient-Institut Istanbul, responsible for the research area ‘History of Religions’. He conducted fieldwork in Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and Germany among Zoroastrians, Alevis, Yezidis, and Twelver Shiites, both as a member of the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Dynamics of Ritual’ (University of Heidelberg) and as a research group leader at the Department for the Study of Religions (University of Bayreuth).


Februar 14, 2018
7:00 pm-9:00 pm