Frederic Brusi, amanuens vid Mellanösterns språk och kulturer och Master i Mellanöstern- och Nordafrikastudier, kommer tillsammans med avdelningen för Religionshistoria vid SU, där han även arbetar som lärare, att delta vid 2016 EASR Conference i Helsingfors: Relocating Religion den 28 juni-1 juli. Läs mer om konferensen här.

Frederic kommer att presentera ett paper som grundar sig på forskning gjord för masteruppsatsen Sufiland - Everyday life with the living dead in Upper Egypt (examinerad 2015).


"Towards a a theory of instinctual sufism"

Sufiland, everyday life with the living dead in Upper Egypt, Frederic Brusi
Sufiland, everyday life with the living dead in Upper Egypt, Frederic Brusi

The islamological scholarly focus since E. Lane has tended to be the islam of different elites which has enhanced and enforced the idea of Islam as a particular maximalist practice, or several maximalist practices in conflict with one another. Although insightful, such research may have the side effect of falling into the trap of making elitist islam into a metaphor for the middle east.

This paper is grounded in field work in south Egypt and aims to call for research on minimalist islam, which may be the islam of a majority of muslims. Muslims in the villages studied participated in what we would academically describe as sufism, but without formal (or with weak) affiliation to sufi brotherhoods. One of the more important aspects, or functions, within religion is the visitation of saints (awliya) whose special standing with the godhead is easily accessible on a daily basis as well as in special circumstances; death, birth, and marriage. Further, the academic categories of islam and sufism are interchangeable and to a degree non-sensical in the villages. It is all islam.

The implications are that islam may not only be talked of as 'great' and 'small' traditions, but as an instinctual and pragmatic practice in the everyday pangs and pains of life.