Annika Schmeding, "Sufi Civilities: Religious Authority and Political Change in Afghanistan" (Stanford UP, 2023)


Annika Schmeding’s new book Sufi Civilities: Religious Authority and Political Change in Afghanistan (Stanford UP, 2023) is a deeply sensitive and rich study of a variety of facets of Sufism in contemporary Afghanistan. Focused on the intersection and interaction of Sufism and Afghan civil society, this book simultaneously offers a layered and often moving account of Sufism in Afghanistan, while also presenting an excellent critique of Western NGO driven understandings of civility and civil society. The book also engages a number of themes connected to Sufism in Afghanistan including Sufism and the state, gender and Sufism, Sufis and the ‘ulama’, and Sufi religious authority through the oneiric imagination. This wonderfully written book will also be a pleasure to teach in the classroom.

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SherAli Tareen

SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His second book is called Perilous Intimacies: Debating Hindu-Muslim Friendship after Empire (Columbia University Press, 2023). His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at Listener feedback is most welcome.

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