I’ve started a quest to read books about our world’s mystical traditions. This is a book about the Sufi mystical tradition.
I’ll be blunt: this book went over my head in a BIG way. I know next to nothing about the tradition and history of Islam itself, and this book was written for an audience who had at least an introductory knowledge of the subject. To be sure, this was written for a Western audience: the author is French, and it was originally written in French before being translated into English.
This book focused on the history of Sufism, from it’s beginning with Mohammed, through the early years, into the modern day. It explained the origins of the various brotherhoods, the various metaphysical theories espoused by different sheikhs, and the use of art, music and poetry to glorify the divine. Finally, the book explores Sufism’s place in the rapidly changing modern world- both Middle East and West. Finally,
I will note that the book is only 200 pages long. Sufism is about 1300 years old. I imagine this book leaves a lot of important information out/makes generalizations to fit in that page count.
I am not in a position to critique this book’s accuracy. Instead, I’ll say that the book did an excellent of citing it’s resources and providing in-depth bibliographies at the end of every chapter. As far as I could tell, this book seems like a good source of information for scholar and layperson alike.
This book is NOT is a spirituality/self help book. This book is an academic book.
I enjoyed my time reading this, even if it did go over my head. You might enjoy it too.
STARS: (?) OUT OF 5 STARS (5 Stars=Perfect, 4 Stars=Great, 3 Stars=Good, 2 Stars=Fun but Flawed, 1 Star=Not Recommended)
Genres/Tagwords: nonfiction, Academic, Sufism, Islam, Mysticism
Previous books by the author/in the series I’ve reviewed: