What is Sufism? Contemporary views vary tremendously, even among Sufis themselves. Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture brings to light the religious frameworks that shape the views of Sufism's friends, adversaries, admirers, and detractors and, in the process, helps readers better understand the diversity of contemporary Sufism, the pressures and cultural openings to which it responds, and the many divergent opinions about contemporary Sufism's relationship to Islam. The three main themes: piety, politics, and popular culture are explored in relation to the Islamic and Western contexts that shape them, as well as to the historical conditions that frame contemporary debates. This book is split into three parts:
* Sufism and anti-Sufism in contemporary contexts;
* Contemporary Sufism in the West: Poetic influences and popular manifestations;
* Gendering Sufism: Tradition and transformation.
This book will fascinate anyone interested in the challenges of contemporary Sufism as well as its relationship to Islam, gender, and the West. It offers an ideal starting point from which undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers and lecturers can explore Sufism today.
Meena Sharify-Funk is Associate Professor and the Chair of the Religion and Culture Department at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. William Rory Dickson is Assistant Professor of Islamic Religion and Culture at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Merin Shobhana Xavier is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ithaca College, USA.
List of Figures Introduction The Structure of this Book Part I: Sufism and Anti-Sufism in Contemporary Contexts Part II: Contemporary Sufism in the West: Poetic Influences and Popular Manifestations Part III: Gendering Sufism: Tradition and Transformation Bibliography Chapter 1: Contextualizing the Production of Knowledge on Contemporary Sufism in the West Orientalism and the Study of Sufism Precolonial European Encounters with Sufism Colonial-Era Encounters with Sufism The Beginnings of Western Sufism: Rene Guenon and Hazrat Inayat Khan From Text to Context: The Shift to Studying Living Sufism Scholarship on Sufism Beyond the Academy Towards Contemporary Sufism Conclusion Bibliography Notes PART I: SUFISM AND ANTI-SUFISM IN CONTEMPORARY CONTEXTS Chapter 2: Heart or Heresy? The Historical Debate Over Sufism's Place in Islam Early Islam and the Emergence of Sufism The Sunni Synthesis: Sufism and Shari`a Ibn Taymiyya and the Medieval Roots of Modern Anti-Sufism Two Visions of Islam Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab and the Birth of Modern Anti-Sufism European Colonialism, Salafism, and End of Sufi Conclusion Bibliography Notes Chapter 3: Contesting Sufism Today: Contemporary Sufi and Anti-Sufi Responses Contending Islamic Paradigms Contrasting Hermeneutics of the Qur'an and Hadith Contesting Theologies: Understandings of Tawhid and Islam Pedagogy and the Transmission of Islamic Knowledge Summarizing the Contemporary Islamic Scene The Spread of Anti-Sufism in the Twentieth Century Al-Qaeda and ISIS North American Sufi Responses to Anti-Sufism Conclusion Bibliography Notes PART II: CONTEMPORARY SUFISM IN THE WEST: POETIC INFLUENCES AND POPULAR MANIFESTATIONS Chapter 4: Sufism in the Eyes of the West: Colonialists, Romantics, and Transcendentalists Before Orientalism: Ramon Llull and Early Medieval Encounters with Sufism Dervishes and Non-Muslims in Ottoman Turkey Orientalists and Sufism: Scholarly Constructions and Poetic Transmissions Early Translations and Interpretations: Jones, Malcolm, and Wilberforce The Travelogues of Lane and Brown The Romantics and Sufism The Poets of the East and the West: Hafiz and Goethe American Transcendentalism and Sufism The Concordians and the Sufis: Emerson, Whitman, and Hafiz Conclusion Bibliography Notes Chapter 5: The Era of Rumi: Contemporary Sufism and Popular Culture The Making of the "Rumi Phenomenon" in America "Jalaloddin Barks": Coleman Barks and the Making of Rumi-Mania Rumi as the Main Character: Novels, Comics, and Popular Literature "Keep Calm and Read Rumi!": Rumi, Self-Help Books, and Spiritual Biographies Sufism and the Arts: Music, Rumi Tours, and the Big Screen Rumi and Visual Art Whirling with Rumi and Sufi Tourism Musical Expressions of Rumi #RumiWasntWhite: Rumi on the Big Screen Rumi: An Icon of LGBTQ Activism Some Tea with your Rumi? Culinary Delights and Architectural Inspirations There is an App for That! Rumi on Social Media Conclusion Bibliography Notes part iii: GENDERING SUFISM: TRADITION AND TRANSFORMATION Chapter 6: Perfecting the Self: Female Sufi Saints in Islamic History Insan al-Kamil: The Perfected Human Being Gendered Qualities Encompassed by the Perfected Human Gendered "Friends of God" A Brief Historical Overview of Sufi Women Formative Period: Female Ascetics and Male Biographers Medieval Period: Female Teachers and Sufi Orders Age of Colonization: Sufi Females and the Call of Resistance Conclusion Bibliography Notes Chapter 7: "Women of Light": Contemporary Female SUFI Leaders Living Sufism Today The Significance of Living Sufism: Transmission, Teachers and Role Models Contemporary Female Sufi Leadership: Responsibilities and the Role of the Feminine Conclusion Bibliography Notes Conclusion: Discourses of Authenticity and Complementary Contradictions in Contemporary Sufism Key Findings of Chapters Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Complementary Contradictions and the Making of Contemporary Sufism Reflections on Possible Trajectories for Future Scholarship Concluding Thoughts Bibliography Notes