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In recent years, many historians of Islamic mysticism have been grappling in sophisticated ways with the difficulties of essentialism. Reconceptualising the study of Islamic mysticism during an under-researched period of its history, this book examines the relationship between Sufism and society in the Muslim world, from the fall of the Abbasid caliphate to the heyday of the great Ottoman, Mughal and Safavid empires. Treating a heretofore under-researched period in the history of Sufism, this work establishes previously unimagined trajectories for the study of mystical movements as social actors of real historical consequence. Thematically organized, the book includes case studies drawn from the Middle Eastern, Turkic, Persian and South Asian regions by a group of scholars whose collective expertise ranges widely across different historical, geographical, and linguistic landscapes. Chapters theorise why, how, and to what ends we might reconceptualise some of the basic methodologies, assumptions, categories of thought, and interpretative paradigms which have heretofore shaped treatments of Islamic mysticism and its role in the social, cultural and political history of pre-modern Muslim societies. Proposing vel and revisionist treatments of the subject based on the examination of many under-utilized sources, the book draws on a number of disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches, from art history to religious studies. As such, it will appeal to students and scholars of Middle East studies, religious history, Islamic studies and Sufism.
John J. Curry is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he has taught courses in Islamic and world history since 2006. His most recent research has focused on Ottoman Sufi orders, and he has recently published The Transformation of Muslim Mystical Thought in the Ottoman Empire: The Rise of the Halveti Order, 1350-1650. Erik S. Ohlander is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University--Purdue University Fort Wayne. An historian of religion and specialist in Islamic studies, he has written widely in the areas of Islamic mysticism, Qur'anic studies, and Islamic intellectual history and religious movements.
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
Routledge Sufi Series
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
9 black & white illustrations, 9 black & white halftones