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Saturday, November 21, 2009

An anti-Traditionalist???


Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905), Mufti of the Egyptian Realm, was hardly a Traditionalist. In fact, he was perhaps an anti-Traditionalist. A jurist, religious scholar, political activist, and freemason, he wanted to span the divide between Islam and the West, and advocated a more modern conception of Islam, grounded in rationalism.

I have just published a biography of Muhammad Abduh: Muhammad Abduh (Oxford: Oneworld, 2009). A Middle East edition (as Muhammad Abduh: A Biography) is soon to be published by the American University in Cairo Press.

"Asserting that he was as much a patriotic Egyptian as Islamic reformer, Mark Sedgwick examines the life and thought of the great Mufti and explores his lasting influence on Islamic culture. Drawing on a wealth of new sources and the latest research, this is the only modern biography of this controversial and enigmatic figure."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fez Festival of Sufi Culture 2010

The dates of the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture 2010 have now been announced: 17-25 April 2010.

As before, the part-Traditionalist-inspired cultural festival will be accompanied by a Fez Forum, on “Giving a Soul to Globalisation."

Further information at the festival website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Traditionalism and Sufism in Italy

Alessandra Marchi has completed a doctoral thesis at the EHESS in Paris entitled "Les formes du soufisme en Italie. Le devenir des confréries islamiques en Occident" (450 pp).

The first part of the thesis deals with the history and sociology of Sufism in Italy, introducing Traditionalism in chapter two. Chapter three looks at the Sufi orders currently found in Italy, dividing them on the basis of their membership into the "ethnic" (Mûridiyya, Khalwatiyya and Tijaniyya), the "mixed" (Burhâniyya-Dusûqiyya-Shâdhiliyya and Naqshbandiyya), and the "Italian" (Ahmadiyya-Idrisiyya-Shâdhiliyya and Halvetiyya Jerrahiyya).

The second part deals with the history and anthropology of conversion to Islam (again touching on Traditionalism) and the third part, which concerns the possible future of Sufism in Italy, also considers Traditionalism, as well as hybridization.

It looks very interesting! For Traditionalist Sufism, and for the wider context.