Historiography of the Islamic Sects, Search for New Methodologies and Its Problems During the Republican Era

The history of Islamic sects continues to be the focus of attention today as it had been in the past. Related academic departments have been established in the Divinity Faculties of Republican Turkey and significant studies on sects rising in the classical period as well as in the present have been conducted at a graduate level. Compared to the branches of science that analyse Islamic thought and religious social structures, the history of Islamic sects has made considerable progress in terms of scholarship. In the Republican era, the classical methodology has been put aside in favour of different approaches. These approaches can be classified as Historical-Materialist Approach, Normative-Theological Approach, Social-Positivist Approach, Historical-Sociological Approach and Mentality Analyser/Psycho-Social Approach, each of which has its own characteristics. The amount of work conducted on any one of these approaches in the Republican era is substantially rich. While dealing with various problems of the history of Islamic sects, this literature also contains important problems within. This article will provide an overview of these problems, each of which constitute a topic for separate studies.

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