Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism by Vincent J. Cornell

Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism

byVincent J. Cornell

Paperback | January 20, 1999

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In premodern Moroccan Sufism, sainthood involved not only a closeness to the Divine presence (walaya) but also the exercise of worldly authority (wilaya). The Moroccan Jazuliyya Sufi order used the doctrine that the saint was a "substitute of the prophets" and personification of a universal "Muhammadan Reality" to justify nearly one hundred years of Sufi involvement in Moroccan political life, which led to the creation of the sharifian state.

This book presents a systematic history of Moroccan Sufism through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries C.E. and a comprehensive study of Moroccan Sufi doctrine, focusing on the concept of sainthood. Vincent J. Cornell engages in a sociohistorical analysis of Sufi institutions, a critical examination of hagiography as a source for history, a study of the Sufi model of sainthood in relation to social and political life, and a sociological analysis of more than three hundred biographies of saints. He concludes by identifying eight indigenous ideal types of saint that are linked to specific forms of authority. Taken together, they define sainthood as a socioreligious institution in Morocco.

About The Author

Vincent J. Cornell is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at Emory University.
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Details & Specs

Title:Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan SufismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:444 pages, 9.05 × 6.05 × 1.02 inPublished:January 20, 1999Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292712103

ISBN - 13:9780292712102

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Transliteration of Foreign Terms
  • Introduction. Morocco and the Problem of Sainthood in Islamic Studies
  • Part I. Sainthood and Authority in Morocco: The Origins and Development of a Paradigm
  • Chapter One. Sainthood in an Urban Context: Sulaha', 'Scholars, and "Anchors of the Earth"
  • Chapter Two. Arbiters of the Holy in the Countryside: Rural Legists, Spiritual Masters, and Murabitun
  • Chapter Three. Knowledge, Power, and Authority in Monographic Biography
  • Chapter Four. Qualifying the Ineffable: Sainthood in the Hagiographical Anthology
  • Part II. The Paradigm Institutionalized
  • Chapter Five. Moroccan Sufism in the Marinid Period
  • Chapter Six. An Emplotment of a Paradigmatic Saint: The Career of Muhammad ibn Sulaymán al Jazuli
  • Chapter Seven. The Ideology of Paradigmatic Sainthood: The Jazfilite Doctrine of the "Muhammadan Way"
  • Chapter Eight. Paradigmatic Sainthood in the Material World: The Jazuliyya and the Rise of the Sharifian State
  • Conclusion. Power and Authority in Moroccan Sainthood
  • Notes
  • Glossary of Technical Terms
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

In premodern Moroccan Sufism, sainthood involved not only a closeness to the Divine presence (walaya) but also the exercise of worldly authority (wilaya). The Moroccan Jazuliyya Sufi order used the doctrine that the saint was a "substitute of the prophets" and personification of a universal "Muhammadan Reality" to justify nearly one hundred years of Sufi involvement in Moroccan political life, which led to the creation of the sharifian state.This book presents a systematic history of Moroccan Sufism through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries C.E. and a comprehensive study of Moroccan Sufi doctrine, focusing on the concept of sainthood. Vincent J. Cornell engages in a sociohistorical analysis of Sufi institutions, a critical examination of hagiography as a source for history, a study of the Sufi model of sainthood in relation to social and political life, and a sociological analysis of more than three hundred biographies of saints. He concludes by identifying eight indigenous ideal types of saint that are linked to specific forms of authority. Taken together, they define sainthood as a socioreligious institution in Morocco."This is the most significant study of the Sufi tradition in Islam to have appeared in the last two decades.... It equals in scope and significance Peter Brown's The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity." - Dale F. Eickelman, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, Dartmouth College