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The Cambridge Companion to Sufism


Part of Cambridge Companions to Religion

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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  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107018303

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About the Authors
  • 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 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 a 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.

    • Offers a chronological development of Sufism
    • Stresses the diversity of Sufism by revealing the significant geographical range of the tradition
    • Many neglected topics are investigated, including Sufism and gender, Sufism and ethics, and Sufism in the contemporary age
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… 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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107018303
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Editor

    Lloyd Ridgeon, University of Glasgow
    Lloyd Ridgeon is Reader in Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. His previous publications include Javanmardi: A Sufi Code of Honour (2011) and Morals and Mysticism in Persian Sufism (2010).


    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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