Accepted paper:

Encountering Hizir and Elijah: dreaming and healing in the Muslim and Alawi Traditions of Hatay

Authors:

Jens Kreinath (Wichita State University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents a local account of this tradition in the worship of Saint George (Hızır or Khiḍr) as commonly practiced at various pilgrimage sites in Hatay, Turkey. It aims to demonstrate how Muslims and Alawis visit these pilgrimage sites for purposes of healing, praying, and wish-making.

Paper long abstract:

Healing in conjunction with dream and vision quests at sacred sites is well-documented and play a major role in the Muslim tradition. This paper presents a local account of this tradition in the worship of Saint George (Hızır or Khiḍr) as commonly practiced at various pilgrimage sites in Hatay, Turkey. It aims to demonstrate how Muslims and Alawis visit these pilgrimage sites for purposes of healing, praying, and wish-making. I argue that the dream request as a key element in visiting these sites is viewed as a reshaping of reality and transformation of agency. By engaging in the work of Bakhtin and and Deleuze, I ponder upon how concepts such as the 'chronotope' and 'virtuality' can allow analyzing the interrelatedness of the visits at these sacred pilgrimage sites in conjunction with oral traditions blending encounters with Hizir as well as Elijah and with personal accounts of those who visit these sites and experience dreaming and healing. By way of conclusion, I contrast these accounts with the veneration of other Muslim saints in that area.

panel W133
Muslim saints, dreams, and veneration of shrines