Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism (Studies in Comparative Religion)
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Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks. Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire.
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Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism. Date: 24 May Time: PM. Finishes: 24 May Time: PM. The unusual perspective of the author as a follower of the esoteric Zoroastrian movement of Azar Kayvan subsequently led many scholars to discredit it as a reliable historical witness, despite its many quasi-ethnographic observations of contemporary religious behavior and thought.
Department of Religious Studies
These observations, both admiring and critical, apply particularly to the book's treatment of Sufism in its final chapter. Within the Hindu traditions I have focused on the creation of the Gaudiya Vaisnava movement of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the results of which can be found in my recent monograph titled The Final Word: the Caitanya Caritamrta and the Grammar of Religious Tradition Oxford This work was preceded by and dependent on a translation of the key text, the encyclopaedic Caitanya Caritamrta of Krsnadasa Kaviraja, which I produced with the late Edward C.
Dimock, Jr. Harvard Oriental Series Followers of the Vaisnava traditions also recognize a figure named Satya Pir, which provided a segue into the Islamic literatures of Bengal, especially of the area now known as Bangladesh.
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Satya Pir, who is considered to be both an avatara of Krsna as well as a Sufi saint, represents a rapprochment of Muslims and Hindus in a plural Bengali society in the premodern period. In Fabulous Females and Peerless Pirs Oxford I translated eight tales out of several hundred, each focused on the ways women, aided by Satya Pir, keep the world ordered in the wake of male-generated chaos.
This literature in turn pointed me to my current project, tentatively titled Romance of the Pirs: Fictive Discourse in Early Modern Bengali Sufism , which exams the ways the Islamic imaginaire insinuated itself seamlessly into a Bengali consciousness through mythic heroes who extend their help and protection to anyone regardless of sectarian affiliation.