Mixed Worship: The Double Cult of Sarı Saltuk and St. Nicholas in the Balkans

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In the Balkan borderlands, a region characterized by religious (and so cultural)
ambiguity, the Muslim allocation of an equivalent saint in the ‘pantheon’ of
Christianity was facilitated by a certain ‘rapprochement’ between the two religions: an ongoing fusion of disparate elements into a new language occurred
that often blurred religious distinctions. The polymorphic figures of two
‘saints’, Sarı Saltuk and St. Nicholas, are emblematic of this process of cultural
intermingling, ensuant act of translating and mixed worship. Their cult is a
refraction of conquest and appropriation, tempered by interfaith circulations,
joint pilgrimage, and cross-cultural accommodation. The ‘interactions’ and
attendant double identity of the two saints will be examined from the perspective of mixed places of worship and the entanglements between the Christians
and Muslim worlds taking place within these sites in the longue durée.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 603905 Islam
  • 605004 Cultural studies
  • 603110 Metaphysics
  • 504017 Cultural anthropology


  • Double cult
  • Saint veneration
  • Sarı Saltuk
  • St. Nicholas
  • Balkans
  • Mixed spaces
  • Shared sacred sites

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