Translation, Travel, Transfiguration and the Practice of Scholarship in the Study of Religion
Brannon M Wheeler [+]
United States Naval Academy
This paper presents three different perspectives on the "experience" of scholarship described by Carl Ernst in his groundbreaking study of the Indian origins of an Ottoman Sufi text, three perspectives all related through me from my interactions with Carl. How do we articulate the tension between, to use Carl's example, what the Turkish dervishes think they are doing (or more accurately what we think they think they are doing) and what we think they are "really" doing. These three perspectives are experimental, designed to get us beyond the tired dichotomy of insider/outsider and to eschew the baggage-laden oversimplification of syncretism.