Northwestern University

Wed 12:00 PM

Muslim Ethics under Apartheid: Between Sufism, Self and Politics

When: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, Program of African Studies, Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public

Contact: Kate Dargis   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings

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PAS Affiliates Series
*lunch served*

Muslim Ethics under Apartheid: Between Sufism, Self and Politics

Brannon Ingram, Religious Studies

Abstract: This paper explores how scholars of the Deobandi tradition - originating in colonial India, and now a global Islamic movement - have advanced an ethics of the self grounded in Sufi discourses of selfhood, yet one arguably detached (in at least one strain of Deobandi thought) from broader social/political engagements. After briefly outlining Deoband and its often controversial approaches to Sufism, I examine in some detail how Deobandi ethics became contested in a highly localized context - late apartheid South Africa - in which many Muslims challenged what they perceived as Deobandi scholars' apolitical, 'accommodationist' stance towards the apartheid regime.

Bio: Brannon Ingram is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University. A specialist in Islamic Studies focusing on Sufism and modern South Asia, Brannon’s research engages with transnational and translocal flows of people, texts and ideas in the global Muslim South (particularly between South Asia and Southern Africa), and how these flows have upended traditional forms and structures of authority in Islam. His current research examines how the global Deobandi network of Islamic seminaries (madrasas) have shaped debates about Sufism and Islamic ethics, how Deobandi scholars sought to implement their reformist vision of Islam in the public sphere via popular texts written for a lay Muslim audience, and how the Tablighi Jama`at (now the world’s largest Muslim revivalist organization) emerged out of Deoband’s reformist project. His research has been supported by the Fulbright and the Social Science Research Council, among other organizations.

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