By Pnina Werbner, Helene Basu
The ongoing power of Sufism as a dwelling embodied postcolonial fact demanding situations the argument that Sufism has "died" in recent years. all through India and Bangladesh, Sufi shrines exist in either the agricultural and concrete components, from the remotest desert to the trendy Asian urban, mendacity contrary banks and skyscrapers. This booklet illuminates the notable resilience of South Asian Sufi saints and their cults within the face of radical monetary and political dislocations and breaks new flooring in present learn. It addresses the newest debates at the come upon among Islam and modernity and offers very important new comparative ethnographic fabric.
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Extra resources for Embodying Charisma: Modernity, Locality and the Performance of Emotion in Sufi Cults
The Face of the Other, in Levinas’s terms (1987), is ever present but also elusive, implicit in whatever we think and experience but never quite crystallising as promised. Sufism can therefore be both accessible and appealing (an ideal instrument of conversion) and elitist and esoteric. In fact, that very diversity of Sufi or pir identity, objectively correlated in the hardware of sanctity, is essential to its reproduction as a cultural institution. Embodying the sacred Writing about pirs, in Bangladesh at least, is like rotating a crystal ball that continuously reveals new aspects.
To argue that these practices are marginal to the ‘true’ Islam represented by the mosque and the ‘ulama (religious scholars or officials) is to misrecognise the centrality of eschatological ideas about redemption and salvation to Islam in general (Werbner 1996a). As Jamal Malik demonstrates here in his subtle interpretation of a modern Urdu short story, written as a critique of the practices at saints’ shrines, reformist ideas and arguments are ‘still bound up with norms and symbols which are rooted in a long tradition’.
1988) Fruitful Journeys: The Ways of Rajasthani Pilgrims, Berkeley: University of California Press. Habermas, Jürgen (1987) The Theory of Communicative Action: The Critique of Functionalist Reason Vol. 2, Oxford: Blackwell. Handelman, Don (1990) Models and Mirrors: Towards an Anthropology of Public Events, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kakar, Sudhir (1982) Mystics, Shamans and Doctors: A Psychological Inquiry into India and its Healing Traditions, Delhi: Oxford University Press. ) Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots and Survivors in South Asia, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp.
Embodying Charisma: Modernity, Locality and the Performance of Emotion in Sufi Cults by Pnina Werbner, Helene Basu