What is it about?

The article examines several instances of Sufi revival in the Caucasus and the Volga-Ural region and its re-imagening in the modernist (“renovationist”) discourse of some prominent members of the Russian-Muslim officialdom.

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Why is it important?

The resurgence of Sufism in post-Soviet Russia is a complex phenomenon that defies common methodological assumptions current in sociology of religion and cultural studies, especially the notion of disenchantment/re-enchantment and intellectual paradigm shift. The article shows the strengths and weaknesses of popular sociological models when applied to such living and breathing phenomena as religious revival in post-Communist societies.


The article challenges several popular assumptions about Islamic asceticsm-mysticism (Sufism) and shows how the use of sophisticated theoretical tools can enrich our understanding of it, while also showing their shortcomings and limitations.

Professor of Islamic Studies Alexander Knysh
University of Michigan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sufism in Post-Soviet Russia: Searching for Enchantment and a Paradigm Shift, Die Welt des Islams, July 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15700607-20220007.
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