The Būdshīshiyya's Tower of Babel: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in a Transnational Sufi Order

Item Type Book Section

The article explores the linguistic diversity within a Muslim Sufi Organisation. I argue that the ways in which languages are used in transnational religions are explanatory of the mechanisms and limitations that propitiate and bound the preservation of the cultural character the group possessed before expanding, as well as of the emergence of processes of cultural hybridity. I aim to provide evidence of that the analysis of language usages in transnational religious groups questions the supposed enhancement of truly ‘international’ religious cultures. By looking at the use that devotees of the transnational Sufi Order of Moroccan origin Qādiriyya al-Būdshīshiyya make of languages, this paper discusses the relative capacity and the restrictions for cultural mixing that occur in a transnational religious organisation. More precisely, it suggests that despite the Būdshīshiyya’s Universalist (i.e. sometimes trans-ethnic, sometimes transnational and at yet other times transcultural) appeal, religious identities cannot escape their cultural locatedness and are always engrained in the cultural context(s) to which they belong. Such situatedness comes to question the very transnational character of the Order, and it determines the ways in which it negotiates its local/global character.

Authors Dominguez Diaz, Marta
Editors Mukherjee, Sipra
Language English
Subjects social sciences
cultural studies
Institute/School SEPS - School of Economics and Political Science
SoM - School of Management
SHSS - School of Humanities and Social Sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Date 1 December 2017
Publisher Routledge
Place of Publication New Delhi
Title of Book The Languages of Religion : Exploring the Politics of the Sacred
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Marta Dominguez Diaz
Date Deposited 20 Sep 2017 06:03
Last Modified 22 Nov 2017 13:23


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Dominguez Diaz, Marta: The Būdshīshiyya's Tower of Babel: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in a Transnational Sufi Order. New Delhi : Routledge, 2017,

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