Tariq Jaffer (Section 01)
This seminar explores mystical experience and philosophy through an inquiry into the Islamic movement called Sufism. The course examines Sufism from several directions: it surveys individual mystics and Sufi martyrs; studies the social organization of Sufi communal life and religious practice; explores the symbolism of mystical poetry; analyzes the ideas of prominent Sufi philosophers; and traces the development of Sufism in Africa and India. The narrow goal of the course is to understand the spiritual dimensions of Islamic religious leadership and the variety of its manifestations in the intellectual life, social organizations, and regional diversification of the Islamic world. The wider goal is to gain an understanding of the nature of religious experience and the role of communal and individual dimensions of mysticism within this religious experience. Spring semester. Professor Jaffer.