This article aims to study on the relationship among three conceptual pairs, namely high Islam-folk Islam, orthodoxy-heterodoxy and social structure-communitas. These pairs of concepts have binary opposition in their inner relations (such as heterodoxy v. orthodoxy). It is argued here that heterodoxy, folk Islam and communitas can be evaluated together because of the existence of parallelism among them. Similarly, orthodoxy, folk Islam and social structure can be grouped together, due to the existence of similarities among them. These concepts will be discussed on the context of Turkish social history and different interpretation of Islam observed among the Turks. What we mean by high Islam is an interpretation of Islam which emanates from medreses/ulamas, originates from Qur’an and hadith and orthodox in nature. In addition, it served as official ideology of many state in Islamic civilization. Other features of high Islam are: having systematized and institutionalized set of rules, stressing monotheistic side of Islam, based on written culture, having close relations with political authority and its urbanite nature. On the other hand, folk Islam refers to a heterodox interpretation and prevails in rural. It is also based on verbal culture and saint cult. Folk Islam distance itself from political authority and there is limited discrimination between sexes in it. This article, arguing that there is a kind of tension between orthodox high Islam and heterodox folk Islam, offer application of Turner’s concepts of communitas, social structure to these relations.
High Islam, Folk Islam, Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, Communitas, Social Structure