Abstract

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, this article tracks the imbrication of ordinary and mystical desire in the life of a Muslim man who disavows pietistic forms of ethical striving. It examines the way tropes of desire from Sufi poetry affect everyday life and desire in ordinary relationships with friends and kin. Revising the notion of the “infinity of desire,” which explains the traction of the paradigmatically mystical figures of lover and beloved in pious frameworks, the article argues that the finitude of desire in relation to intimate others in everyday life provides one context in which these figures, and Sufi poetry more generally, may become attractive to contemporary Muslims.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9579
Print ISSN
1552-5864
Pages
pp. 68-87
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-03
Open Access
No
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