work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sufi urbanism – Rumi and Marx against the idiocy of rural life…

04.02.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

One of the starting points of my interest in the possible linkages between Sufism and commercial culture was Sultan Veled’s couplet on how the soul becomes ‘a city, a market, a shop‘. Sufism is a thoroughly urban, cosmopolitan phenomenon – The notion that Sufism is a mere expression of rural “folk” Islam is a myth, ...

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Antifascist globalisation – a message in a bottle from the dark

02.23.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

70 years ago today, Nazi “judge” Roland Freisler sentenced to death three members of the Christian resistance group Weiße Rose: Hans and Sophie Scholl  and Christoph Probst. Together with the other members of the group (among them Willi Graf, Kurt Huber, and Alexander Schmorell who were murdered after trials later in the same year, 1943) ...

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Le nez rouge de Durkheim

02.15.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

It’s Red Nose Day again soon  – which comes as a reminder of just how closely the quasi-religious culture of celebrity and consumer sainthood and the discourse of humanitarianism and human rights are interlinked (see Goodman 2009). In an earlier post I have suggested that we can see the discourse of human rights as quasi-theological ...

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Futuwwah and the value of a penny

02.04.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

When talking about a “Sufi ethics” which can be seen as impacting on more than just the committed practitioners, i.e. members of Sufi orders and individual wandering dervishes, one can’t get round Ibn al-Husayn as-Sulami’s collection of moral rules in what has been translated as The Book of Sufi Chivalry, (al Sulami 1983)the 312/1021 written ...

Pre-Post-Humanism… something humanistic on artefacts from an “Eastern” perspective (Ali Âşık Paşa on the built environment and its human soul)

02.04.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Among proponents of post-humanism, of an “ontological turn” in the social sciences, anti-representationalism and what-have-you it is popular to put down humanism as “Western rationalism”. That makes reference to “Eastern thought” attractive. I leave aside the obvious observation that such reference is a bit of a poisoned compliment sent right down the compass – as ...

Why a Holocaust Memorial Day?

01.28.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Here is why … and in order to remain vigilant – antisemitism is not a thing of the past, but, as Robert Fine reminds us in the latest issue of the European Sociologist (p.4), is often mistaken as such even by those who should be most aware of these things (i.e. us sociologists) One ...

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01.28.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

“Timbuktu has often been invoked as a symbol of the most distant place on Earth, as a mysterious and exotic, but unreachable, attraction. Yet, it is a real city with a history.”   update only three hours after putting this up news is in that the Ahmad Baba library has been burned down   ...

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sociologist in distress….

01.25.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized this is either a case of one-step-forward-two-steps-back or two-step-forwards-one-step-back – hope it’s the latter… ...

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sufi and cinematic imagination

01.21.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Slowly making my way through Elif Şafak’s Pinhan I’ve come across these lines, in which the protagonist’s favourite Sufi teachers are described thus: ‘Kul Hüseyin ile Budala Tosun dudaklarından tebbesüm eksik olmayan, ağızlarından bal damlayan, kimsenin kusurunu görmeyen dervişlerdi. Adeta tüm ömürlerini, dâr-ül hayal ile dâr-ül hakikati birbirinden ayıran hatt-ı fasılı silmeye vakfetmişler.’ (Şafak 2001: ...

mixed messages?

12.21.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

anti immigration attitudes are on a new high – according YouGov figures reported on Liberal Conspiracy – but, according to research by British Future, never before were people so “comfortable” with “mixed-race” partnerships (also reported on Liberal Conspiracy) This leaves me slightly nervous, but also optimistic: attitudes relating to family life tend to be more stable and ...

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