Islamic Sufism Unbound: Politics and Piety in Twenty-First Century Pakistan

Paperback | September 15, 2009

byRobert Rozehnal

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Against the backdrop of the turbulent social and political landscape of today's Pakistan, Robert Rozehnal traces the ritual practices and identity politics of a contemporary Sufi order: the Chishti Sabiris. He does so from multiple perspectives: from the rich Urdu writings of twentieth century Sufi masters, to the complex spiritual life of contemporary disciples and the order's growing transnational networks. Drawing on new textual and ethnographic research, this multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary study of the Sufi tradition challenges the prevailing models of academic scholarship.

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Against the backdrop of the turbulent social and political landscape of today's Pakistan, Robert Rozehnal traces the ritual practices and identity politics of a contemporary Sufi order: the Chishti Sabiris. He does so from multiple perspectives: from the rich Urdu writings of twentieth century Sufi masters, to the complex spiritual lif...

Robert Rozehnal is Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Lehigh University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:286 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:September 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230618960

ISBN - 13:9780230618961

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Sufism and the Politics of Islamic Identity * Muslim, Mystic and Modern: Three 20th Century Sufi Masters * Imagining Sufism: The Public Face of Chishti Sabiri * Teaching Sufism: Networks of Community and Discipleship * Experiencing Sufism: Ritual Performance as Modern Praxis

Editorial Reviews

"Neither institutional Sufism nor Pakistani politics have ever been put in direct conversation as nimbly as they are in this masterful study by Robert Rozehnal. Few who care about identity politics or Muslim religious vitality- beyond the headlines of extremism or Islamism - can ignore this well crafted, and insightful, book."--Bruce Lawrence, Nancy & Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Islamic Studies and Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center "Islamic Sufism Unbound is a pathbreaking analysis of the role of religion and mysticism in the contemporary world. The story of the Sabiri Chishti Sufi order and its engagements with modernity and the nation-state is absorbing and in many respects surprising. Robert Rozehnal draws upon detailed ethnographic accounts as well as an extensive knowledge of the Sufi tradition to present this important case study of Sufism and Islam today."--Carl W. Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill   "Islamic Sufism Unbound is a tour de force that unravels the multiple layers of spiritual practice in modern Muslim societies. Rozenhal shows the salience of religious practices in modern urban centers in south Asia and beyond and how it impacts various aspects of human life from intimate personal meditations to the most exuberant public performances; how religious practices frame both nationalism and transnational identities and how it tangibly impacts politics and economics. Throughout the Muslim world there are many figures and communities similar to those examined in this wonderfully written book, which deserve great scholarly and public attention in order to further the public understanding of transnational Islam. Rozehnal has paved a way forward with the commendable critical insights he sheds on the subject matter in order to illuminate the complexity of religious practice."-- Ebrahim Moosa, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Duke University and Associate Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center