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(The first full-length study devoted tothe life and mystic...)
The first full-length study devoted tothe life and mystical experiences of one of the outstanding figures in Persian Sufism.
(The soaring voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the ecstatic ...)
The soaring voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the ecstatic dance of the Whirling Dervishes, the rapturous verse of Jalaluddin Rumi—all are expressions of Sufism, often regarded as the mystical tradition of Islam. Who are the Sufis? They are more than mystics; they are empowered by the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad. They are guided by saints and masters. They belong to orders ranging from North Africa and Turkey to India and Central Asia. In addition to prayer and fasting, they practice techniques of meditation. They recite poetry, delight in music, and perform dance, all towards one goal—union with God, the Divine Beloved. This comprehensive introduction clarifies the concept of Sufism and discusses its origin and development. In addition, the author discusses the important issues of Sufism's relationship with the larger Islamic world and its encounters with fundamentalism and modern secularism, along with the appropriation of Sufism by non-Muslims and the development of Sufi traditions in the West.
(The prose and verse readings in this book were chosen to ...)
The prose and verse readings in this book were chosen to interest the many people who have become attracted to Sufi teachings through their exposure to popular Sufi poetry, music, and dance. The selections—mostly from the Middle East and India, ranging from the tenth to the twentieth century—provide a sampling of Sufi thought on some of the basic aspects of this spiritual path. Most of the readings are published here in English for the first time. Brief introductory remarks place each selection into its historical and religious context, and an index of Qur'anic passages helps the reader to trace the extensive allusions to the Islamic holy scriptures. The topics covered include: • The nature of mystical love • Meditation • Listening to music as a spiritual practice • Ethical teachings of Sufism • Pitfalls on the spiritual path • Spiritual companionship and the master-disciple relationship • The importance of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad • Biographical accounts of great mystics, including the poet Rumi as well as several female saints.
(Sufism is a religion which emphasizes direct knowledge of...)
Sufism is a religion which emphasizes direct knowledge of the divine within each person, and meditation, music, song, and dance are seen as crucial spiritual strides toward attaining unity with God. Sufi paths of mysticism and devotion, motivated by Islamic ideals, are still chosen by men and women in countries from Morocco to China, and there are nearly one hundred orders around the world, eighty of which are present and thriving in the United States. The Chishti Sufi order has been the most widespread and popular of all Sufi traditions since the twelfth-century. Sufi Martyrs of Love offers a critical perspective on Western attitudes towards Islam and Sufism, clarifying its contemporary importance, both in the West and in traditional Sufi homelands. Finally, it provides access to the voices of Sufi authorities, through the translation of texts being offered in English for the first time.
(Avoiding the traps of sensational political exposes and s...)
Avoiding the traps of sensational political exposes and specialized scholarly Orientalism, Carl Ernst introduces readers to the profound spiritual resources of Islam while clarifying diversity and debate within the tradition. Framing his argument in terms of religious studies, Ernst describes how Protestant definitions of religion and anti-Muslim prejudice have affected views of Islam in Europe and America. He also covers the contemporary importance of Islam in both its traditional settings and its new locations and provides a context for understanding extremist movements like fundamentalism. He concludes with an overview of critical debates on important contemporary issues such as gender and veiling, state politics, and science and religion.
(For anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how t...)
For anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how to approach, read, and understand the text of the Qur'an, How to Read the Qur'an offers a compact introduction and reader's guide. Using a chronological reading of the text according to the conclusions of modern scholarship, Carl W. Ernst offers a nontheological approach that treats the Qur'an as a historical text that unfolded over time, in dialogue with its audience, during the career of the Prophet Muhammad.
(The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they'v...)
The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they've flourished—from Morocco to India to China—and as varied as their distinctive forms of art, music, poetry, and dance. They are said to represent the mystical heart of Islam, yet the term Sufism is notoriously difficult to define, as it means different things to different people both within and outside the tradition. With that fact in mind, Carl Ernst explores the broadest range of Sufi philosophies and practices to provide one of the most complete and comprehensive introductions to Sufism available in English. He traces the history of the movement from the earliest days of Islam to the present day, along the way examining its relationship to the larger world of Islam and its encounters with both fundamentalism and secularism in the modern world.
(This collection of articles by Carl W Ernst summarizes ov...)
This collection of articles by Carl W Ernst summarizes over 30 years of research, recovering and illuminating remarkable examples of Islamic culture that have been largely overlooked, if not forgotten. It opens with reflections on teaching Islam, focusing on major themes such as Sufism, the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad, and Arabic literature. The importance of public scholarship and the questionable opposition between Islam and the West are also addressed. The articles that follow explore multiple facets of Sufism, the ethical and spiritual tradition that has flourished in Muslim societies for over a thousand years. The cumulative effect is to move away from static Orientalist depictions of Sufism and Islam through a series of vivid and creative case studies.
Ernst studied comparative religion at Stanford University, graduating from it with a bachelor's degree in 1973. He then obtained his doctorate at Harvard University in 1981. He has also done research tours in India (1978-79, 1981), Pakistan (1986, 2000, 2005), and Turkey (1991), and has visited Iran (1996, 1999) and Uzbekistan (2003).
Ernst has taught at Pomona College from 1981 to 1992 and has been appointed as visiting lecturer at School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, the University of Seville, and the University of Malaya. On the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1992, Ernst has been department chair from 1995 to 2000 and Zachary Smith Professor till 2005. He now holds the position of William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor and Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.
(Avoiding the traps of sensational political exposes and s...)2003
(The soaring voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the ecstatic ...)1997
(This collection of articles by Carl W Ernst summarizes ov...)2017
(Sufism is a religion which emphasizes direct knowledge of...)2002
(The prose and verse readings in this book were chosen to ...)1999
(For anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how t...)2011
(The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they'v...)2017
(The first full-length study devoted tothe life and mystic...)1996
Ernst is a member of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies, American Academy of Religion, American Society for the Study of Religion, Middle East Studies Association, Society for Iranian Studies, Middle East Medievalists and Institute for Central and West Asian Studies.
Ernst married Judith Rouse on June 30, 1974. The couple has 2 children: Sophia L. and Teresa E.