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The Cambridge Companion to Sufism


  • 4 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 240 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9781107679504)

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$29.99 (P)

Sufism, the mystical or aesthetic doctrine in Islam, has occupied a very specific place in the Islamic tradition, with its own history, literature and devotional practices. Its development began in the seventh century, almost immediately after the early conquests, and spread throughout the Islamic world. The Cambridge Companion to Sufism traces its evolution from the formative period to the present, addressing specific themes along the way within the context of the times. In section discussing the early period, the devotional practices of the earliest Sufis are considered. The section on the medieval period, when Sufism was at its height, examines Sufi doctrines, different forms of mysticism and the antinomian expressions of Sufism. The section on the modern period explains the controversies that surrounded Sufism, the changes that took place in the colonial period and how Sufism transformed into a transnational movement in the twentieth century. This inimitable volume sheds light on a multifaceted and alternative aspect of Islamic history and religion.


Part I. The Early Period: 1. Origins and early Sufism C. Melchert; 2. Pious Sufi women L. Silvers; 3. Sufi rituals E. Ohlander; 4. Morality in early Sufi literature S. Yazaki; Part II. Medieval Sufism: 5. Sufism and mysticism L. Ridgeon; 6. Sufism's religion of love, from Rābi'a to Ibn 'Arabī L. Lewisohn; 7. Antinomian Sufism A. Karamustafa; Part III. Sufism in the Modern Age: 8. Nana Asma'u: nineteenth-century West African Sufi B. B. Mack; 9. Sufism and colonialism V. Knut; 9. Nana Asma'u: nineteenth-century West African Sufi B. B. Mack; 10. Sufism in the West R. Geaves; 11. Sufism in the age of globalisation I. Weismann; 12. Transnationalism and regional cults P. Werbner.


"… this volume offers a beautiful doorway to Sufism."
J. Hammer, Choice

'The volume’s contributors distinguish themselves by their expertise. The uniformity of transcription and citation should also be applauded, given how difficult such uniformity is to achieve in an anthology. As mentioned, the volume addresses itself to an academic readership. Of help to the academic reader are comprehensive footnotes, mostly referring to an abundance of secondary works, and the further references at the end of the articles, except chapters 5 and 12. Also helpful are an index of names of individuals, a list of technical terms and names of groups, and a register of English terms and place names. Thus the volume may be absolutely recommended to anyone with a basic knowledge of Sufism who wants to delve more deeply into particular issues.' Angelika Brodersen, Die Welt des Islams


Christopher Melchert, Laury Silvers, Erik Ohlander, Saeko Yazaki, Lloyd Ridgeon, Leonard Lewisohn, Ahmed Karamustafa, Vikor Knut, Beverly B. Mack, Ron Geaves, Itzchak Weismann, Pnina Werbner

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