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Dina Le Gall
CUNY Research Foundation, Lehman College (Bronx, NY 10468-1527)

Faculty Research Awards
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2009 – 8/31/2010

Sufism in History

This comparative and interpretive study of Sufism over a broad chronological and geographic sweep seeks to incorporate Sufism and its practitioners into history and to understand how for centuries Sufism was so central to Islam and integral to the fabric of Muslim societies. I study Sufism fully in its social contexts as well as its doctrinal, devotional and spiritual ones. I ask how Sufism became so ubiquitous, what it promised followers, how it captured imaginations, how adherents-men and women-became affiliated with it, how Sufi communal affiliations intersected with other social formations, how Sufis conferred-and were conferred with- patronage, how they functioned as cultural mediators and as agents of conversion and integration. Organizationally, my approach is thematic. I devote individual chapters of the study each to a distinct aspect of the Sufi tradition and practice, while trying to illuminate the historical trajectories of Sufism within the chapters.