Iterations of lament: Anachronism and affect in a Shi‘i Islamic revival in Turkey

by Kabir Tambar

Many Alevis in Turkey today view their community's traditions of ritual weeping as anachronistic in the modern world. In this article, I situate such sensibilities within a political context in which Turkish state agencies have vigorously regulated norms of public affect. I describe the efforts of one Alevi group to counter such sensibilities by cultivating a susceptibility to affective excitation in line with Shi‘i traditions of lamentation. The group's practices are exemplary of many Islamic revival movements, which aim simultaneously to spread a religious message and to transform the affective conditions in which that message might be received.