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Sufism after the USSR


The International Center for Islamic Studies of the Kunstkamera Museum (the Head – Dr. Sci. Prof. Efim Rezvan) has initiated the creation of a collective monograph under the working title “Sufism after the USSR”. The project is launched within the framework of the research area “Tasawwuf in the Modern World” (to be edited and compiled by Dr. Igor Pankov, the Head of the research area mentioned above, and Dr Sergey Abashin, Prof at the European University in Saint-Petersburg).

Throughout its history Islam has reached the furthest corners of the globe. Today one could see the astonishing diversity of the Islamic world as the result. Nowadays Islamic preachers are continuing their mission (also in cyberspace). 30 years have passed from the moment of "the fall of the Iron Curtain". The astonishing political changes have marked the beginning of religious renaissance in the former USSR territories. The specific structure of Sufi network has started to be formed here. In many regions the reconstruction of traditional Sufi tariqas was accompanied by the expansion of international networks, some of which take Sufism “beyond Islam” and offer it as an independent spiritual tradition.

The idea of the book was born from the awareness of the current lacuna in the study of Sufi networks in Russia and the Independent States of the former Soviet Union, which does not form a summarizing picture of the dynamics of distribution and transformation of Sufism in the area, linked by a common historical experience of the decline of spiritual traditions as a result of the anti-religious struggle. As for the new forms of Sufi practices (also known as “Neo-Sufism”) widely spread among non-Muslim population of the large cities, they are in many cases out of academic attention. So the purpose of the monograph is to combine the most significant works of leading experts in a number of countries based on the latest and primarily field ethnographic materials as well as to initiate new research in the field of Sufi studies.

The Russian version of the monograph will be prepared and published together with the Mardjani Publishing House (Moscow). We reached the preliminary agreement on the publication of the English version of the book in the profile series produced by E. J. Brill (Leiden and Boston). Each article will obtain a DOI index. Understanding our colleagues’ concerns about issues related to scientometry, we are preparing to make the necessary efforts for posting articles in the Scopus database.

Please feel free to email your questions and suggestions (topic and one-page article summary plus information about the author) to pankov@almaqam.ru