Yezidi Studies

Edited by: Sebastian Maisel

Subjects: Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology, Philosophy, Theology, Religion

The new series Yezidi Studies is an academic outlet for publications and research findings in the emerging field of Yezidi Studies. For the first time within the academic context authors, scholars and researchers focus in their works specifically on this understudied and misunderstood community. The Yezidis are a largely Kurmanci-speaking, ethno-religious group with a monotheistic belief system that has its roots in the ancient Mesopotamian cultures and religions and Zoroastrianism. Over the course of time other religious observances, rituals, and dogmas from neighboring religious communities were adopted and integrated into a complex theology that can best be described as an angelic religion. Yezidism is also an orthopractic religion with a strong focus on oral transmission of religious and cultural knowledge.

Widespread misconceptions and false narratives about their origin have led to large-scale attacks and persecution by radical Islamist groups, the latest being the 2014 genocide against the Yezidis by the so-called Islamic State. In order to combat those futile stereotypes much more academic work, field-work and empirical research is needed. The Yezidi Studies Center at the Oriental Institute at Leipzig University is engaged in a number of educational and scholarly activities to promote the study of Yezidi religion, society, and culture. We also strive for giving the often scattered and isolated community of scholars of Yezidi Studies an academic home. 

The public outlet for their important and timely findings is our new series Yezidi Studies.

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