In this volume the history of Islamic sects is analysed as a literary genus in its own right. It consists of three sections: the first deals with structural constants in the texts such as the arrangement, or the number and classification of the a oesects.a The main section describes the most important works and authors from the 8th to the 19th century. Finally, the central concepts - a oereligion, a a oesects, a a oeorthodoxy, a etc. - are considered and the historical background of the literary development examined in more detail. It turns out that the a oeheresiesa were rather a oeconfessionsa which can be understood as proof of the pluralistic structure of the Islamic community.