1. History of Islamic Sects
The Department examines various political and theological understandings of the Islamic religion and the intellectual manifestations of these understandings. The Department has two sub-fields: Classical Islamic Sects and Contemporary Islamic Trends. The former investigates denominational groups (Khawarij, Shi‘a, Mu‘tazila, Murji’a, Ash‘ariyya, Maturidiyya, Druze, Nusayriyya, Yazidiyya, etc.) that came into existence with certain political and theological objectives during the classical Islamic period. The latter examines contemporary national (Islamicism, Alevilik-Bektaşilik, Süleymancılık, Nurculuk, and the Milli Görüş Movement) and international (Qadiyaniyya-Ahmadiyya, the Baha’i Faith, Salafiyya, Wahhabiyya, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) religious trends. The Department studies the conditions under which the sects came into existence, the reasons for their coming into being, and their formative periods, main ideas, followers, literatures, regions, and contributions to Islamic intellectual history. By its nature, the Department is widely open to interdisciplinary study. Accordingly, depending on the topic under investigation, it cooperates closely with various disciplines including Islamic History, Kalam, Islamic Jurisprudence, Sufism, and Sociology of Religion. Distinguished professors who have formerly worked in the Department include Yusuf Ziya Yörükan, Muhammed b. Tavit Tanci, Yaşar Kutluay, and Ethem Ruhi Fığlalı.
2. Current Academic Staff