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Islam is often described as abstract, ascetic, and uniquely disengaged from the human body. Scott Kugle refutes this assertion in the first full study of Islamic mysticism as it relates to the human body. Examining Sufi conceptions of the body in religious writings from the late fifteenth through the nineteenth century, Kugle demonstrates that literature from this era often treated saints' physical bodies as sites of sacred power. ###Sufis and Saints' Bodies# focuses on six important saints from Sufi communities in North Africa and South Asia. Kugle singles out a specific part of the body to which each saint is frequently associated in religious literature. The saints' bodies, Kugle argues, are treated as symbolic resources for generating religious meaning, communal solidarity, and the experience of sacred power. In each chapter, Kugle also features a particular theoretical problem, drawing methodologically from religious studies, anthropology, studies of gender and sexuality, theology, feminism, and philosophy. Bringing a new perspective to Islamic studies, Kugle shows how an important Islamic tradition integrated myriad understandings of the body in its nurturing role in the material, social, and spiritual realms. Kugle examines Islamic--particularly Sufi--conceptions of the human body in religious writings from the late medieval to early modern period of Islamic history. He explores the network of Muslim mystics who played a significant role in shaping Islamic culture during this formative period, as these Sufi saint-teachers served as moral exemplars and, often, political leaders. Religious literature from this period often treated the saints' physical bodies as sites of sacred power, Kugle argues. He illustrates by pairing each of six prominent saints with a part of the body to which they are frequently associated in the literature (breath, lips, heart, etc.). With each chapter, he also addresses a theoretical problem. Islam is often described as particularly abstract, ascetic, and uniquely disengaged from the human body. Scott Kugle refutes this assertion in the first full study of Islamic mysticism as it relates to the human body. Examining Sufi conceptions of the body in religious writings from the late fifteenth through the nineteenth century, Kugle demonstrates that literature from this era often treated saints' physical bodies as sites of sacred power. Islam is often described as abstract, ascetic, and uniquely disengaged from the human body. Scott Kugle refutes this assertion in the first full study of Islamic mysticism as it relates to the human body. Examining Sufi conceptions of the body in religious writings from the late fifteenth through the nineteenth century, Kugle demonstrates that literature from this era often treated saints' physical bodies as sites of sacred power. ###Sufis and Saints' Bodies# focuses on six important saints from Sufi communities in North Africa and South Asia. Kugle singles out a specific part of the body to which each saint is frequently associated in religious literature. The saints' bodies, Kugle argues, are treated as symbolic resources for generating religious meaning, communal solidarity, and the experience of sacred power. In each chapter, Kugle also features a particular theoretical problem, drawing methodologically from religious studies, anthropology, studies of gender and sexuality, theology, feminism, and philosophy. Bringing a new perspective to Islamic studies, Kugle shows how an important Islamic tradition integrated myriad understandings of the body in its nurturing role in the material, social, and spiritual realms.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Note on Transliteration
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-42
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  1. 1. Body Enshrined: The Bones of Mawlay Idrīs
  2. pp. 43-80
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  1. 2. Body Politicized: The Belly of Sayyida Āmina
  2. pp. 81-122
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  1. 3. Body Refined: The Eyes of Muḥammad Ghawth
  2. pp. 123-180
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  1. 4. Body Enraptured: The Lips of Shāh Ḥussayn
  2. pp. 181-220
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  1. 5. Body Revived: The Heart of Ḥājji Imdādullah
  2. pp. 221-264
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  1. Conclusion: Corporeality and Sacred Power in Islam
  2. pp. 265-294
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 295-316
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 317-326
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 327-346
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469602684
Print ISBN
9780807830819
MARC Record
OCLC
778434405
Pages
368
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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