Reading Praxis: Interpretations of the Makalat of Hacı Bektaş
Abstract: "With little historical evidence from the time he lived to rely on, commentators on the life of the thirteenth-century Turkish saint Hacı Bektaş have drawn on narrative sources from the centuries following the saint’s death. Conflicting interpretations of the descriptions in these texts, however, have led to a debate over the praxis of the saint, particularly the question of whether he conformed to the shari‘a. In recent decades, a text purporting to reflect the ideas of Hacı Bektaş, the Makalat, has become the focus of this debate. This paper analyzes the modern usage of the Makalat and the identity implications the question of Hacı Bektaş’s praxis bears for those who interpret it."
Organized by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies