Cultural Factors Affecting the Spread of Superstitions during Safavid Rule (1501-1736)
Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) started its rule by formalizing Shia Islam which transformed the dominant values of the culture. Poorly prepared cultural grounds and improper intellectual infrastructure of the society in Safavid reign which had been hit hard in previous eras allowed changes in values and spread of superstitious beliefs in the society in different formats. These changes survived the collapse of Safavid dynasty and were transferred in later period with some slight alterations. Cultural factors in terms of religious beliefs, values and norms influenced the spread of superstitions and thus became the focus of the study. The results revealed that the embrace of superstitions by the elite, in particular the court, caused the promotion of superstitions across the society. Fanaticism and intellectual fossilization, witchcraft, fatalism and spread of astrology were other influential factors in this process. Moreover, superficial impressions from the religion and employing religious beliefs to justify superstitions were instrumental in the demise of Safavid dynasty. Changed values and social norms of the society were important consequences of believing in superstitions in that time period.
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