Institut für Iranistik / Institute of Iranian Studies Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
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Sufism and the City
IFI Kolloquium 2 - Vortrag von Florian Schwarz, Direktor des Instituts für Iranistik
18.10.2011, 14:00
Seminarraum 1 (Erdgeschoß), Zentrum Asienwissenschaften und Sozialanthropologie
Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien

Around 1690 the Sufi-scholar Sayyid Zinda Ali completed in Bukhara a voluminous hagiographical text, the Thamarat al-mashayikh (Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies of the UzAS, Ms.2619/ii). This rather unique source combines the perspective of a 17th-century Bukharan Sufi-scholar and his extended network of Sufis, scholars, members of the imperial court and urban and rural population with ample information on the urban and rural topography of Bukhara derived from personal observations of the author and conversations with his father. Following the itineraries of the author and his father through the city and the oasis and attending their meetings, conversations, rituals and sojourns in dozens of public and private buildings in 16th- and 17th-century Bukhara, I try to address questions that tend to be obscured in most other available sources. How did Sufi sheykhs and communities shape and adapt to the changing cityscape of 17th-century Bukhara? Where and how did Sufi sheykhs and their communities interact and overlap with other Sufi communities? How and where did Sufi communities communicate and interconnect with other religious or non-religious “professions”? How did the ritual itineraries of Sufi communities relate to other layers of sacred and profane landscape or cityscape? And more generally: what were the boundaries of “Sufi communities”?









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