Sufism, Pluralism and Democracy - Clinton Bennett

Sufism, Pluralism and Democracy - Clinton Bennett

4. Sufi Politics in the Contemporary West: The Role and Definition of Sufism in the Works of Javad Nurbakhsh (1926-2008)

Sufism, Pluralism and Democracy - Clinton Bennett

Milad Milani [+-]
Associate Lecturer, University of Western Sydney Fellow Religion and Society Research Centre
Milad Milani is an Associate Lecturer with the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and is an Adjunct Fellow with the Religion and Society Research Centre, at the University of Western Sydney. He also teaches for the School of Social Sciences and Psychology. His most recent publications include a book titled Secret History of Persian Sufism (London: Acumen, 2013) and a chapter in an edited volume titled “Sufism and the Subtle Body,” in Between Mind and Body: Subtle Body Practices in Asia and the West, ed. Geoffrey Samuel and Jay Johnston (Routledge: London 2013). Milad is a Historical Sociologist with interests in Sufism, Medieval Persian Society and Islam in a Western context. Milad received his PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia in 2009.

Description

Sufi ideas about altruism and universalism did not emerge in a vacuum. Applying Trompf’s notion of ‘payback’ and ‘retributive logic’ (1994), it is argued that the egalitarian and liberal worldview of Sufism is pertinent to a charged socio-political atmosphere. This chapter offers further contextualization by examining some of the Sufi publications of Javad Nurbakhsh (1926-2008), the late master of the Persian Sufi tradition, the Nimatullahi Khaniqahi Sufi order, during the 1990s. This paper also focuses on some elements of his writings, in particular, Nurbakhsh’s adaptation of Sufi material for a more democratic Sufi outlook. Most importantly, the modern history of the Nimatullahiya, under Nurbakhsh’s leadership (1953-2008) (self-exiled after the 1979 Revolution), demonstrates the strains of domestic politics upon liberal interpretation of Islam, and the need for Iranian Sufis to seek sanctuary within Western democratic societies.

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Citation

Milani, Milad. 4. Sufi Politics in the Contemporary West: The Role and Definition of Sufism in the Works of Javad Nurbakhsh (1926-2008). Sufism, Pluralism and Democracy. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 91-100 Jul 2017. ISBN 9781781792216. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=27393. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27393. Jul 2017

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