Exopraxis—a term for religious practices in places of worship associated with a religion not one’s own—is often associated with heteropraxis, a term for unorthodox religious practices. Heteropraxes, which may be shared by members of more than one religion, can diverge so widely from the orthopraxy and even orthodoxy of a dominant religion that government authorities will make strenuous attempts to suppress them. In Muslim Turkey, a growing proportion of the supporters of Sunni orthodoxy regard the veneration of certain trees, stones, natural springs, and resting places of saintly persons and relics as forms of idolatry (şirk), heresy (bid’at), or superstition (hurāfe). Alevi heteropraxis at such sites of wild piety are often accompanied by Sunni exopraxis. Heteropraxis and exopraxis do not everywhere or completely overlap, argues this introduction to a cluster of articles on exopraxis, but exopraxis is generally tolerant of, if not drawn to, heteropraxis.

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