Sufism, Pluralism and Democracy

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Editor(s): 
Clinton Bennett, Sarwar Alam
  • Sheffield, England: 
    Equinox Publishing Limited
    , August
     2017.
     262 pages.
     $100.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781781792216.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

This volume provides a composite of contemporary Sufi involvement in politics using a range of approaches and disciplines. It explores the role of Sufi-related parties where they exist or are emerging. It also examines how parties that condemn Sufism have adopted aspects of Sufi organization and practice. Changes in views within the academy on politics and Sufism are discussed. Perspectives on Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia are included as are overviews of Sufism’s political dimension across various regions. 

Contributions in the volume seek answer questions such as: Where Sufi related parties exist, what policies do they propose, and how do they differ from those of Islamist parties? How would “law” be understood? What is the relationship between secular and Sufi ideas about the role of religion in society? How do Sufi views about how to structure the state in Muslim majority space differ from alternatives? Are Sufis more likely to support democracy?

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Clinton Bennett divides his teaching between SUNY New Paltz, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY and Cambridge, UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute. A Baptist missionary in Bangladesh 1979-1982, he maintains close personal and professional ties with South Asia. Director of interfaith relations for the British Council of Churches 1986-1992, he has served on not-for-profit management committees, local, national and international ecumenical agencies, chaired a school governing body and represented an NGO at the UN.   He has written ten books, numerous articles, reviews, chapters, editorials, and encyclopedia and dictionary entries. He is editor of the Continuum Studying World Religions series.

Sarwar Alam teaches at the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies of University of Arkansas. He received his doctorate from the same university in 2006. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia between 2007 and 2010. He is currently preparing a manuscript for publication entitled Jewels of Honor: the Perception of Power, Powerlessness, and Gender Among Rural Muslim Women of Bangladesh. He contributed two chapters on Sufi historiography and political activism in Bangladesh in South Asian Sufis: Devotion, Deviation and Destiny edited by Clinton Bennett and Charles Ramsey (Continuum, 2012).

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