A ritual demystified: The work of anti-wonder among Sufi reformists and traditionalists in a Macedonian Roma neighborhood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The article describes how an iconic mystical Sufi ritual of body wounding, zarf, was stripped of its mystical credentials and conventional efficacy amidst tensions between Rifai reformists and traditionalists in a small Roma neighbourhood in Skopje, Macedonia. The death of a sorcerer and a funeral event-series set the scene for acts of “anti-wonder” (Tomlinson 2017) and demystification by the Rifai reformists. Despite the history of socialist secularism and inadvertently secularizing Islamic reforms in the region, demystification signalled not the loss of enchantment per se but a competition for legitimate forms of wonder. In addition to accounting for socio-historical context and relational forms of Islam, the real challenge is how to see a demystified ritual for its explicit intellectual capacity to stimulate speculation about itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalReligion and Society
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date1 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • anti-wonder
  • demystification
  • Islamic reformism
  • Macedonia
  • Rifai Sufism
  • socialist secularism
  • zarf

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A ritual demystified: The work of anti-wonder among Sufi reformists and traditionalists in a Macedonian Roma neighborhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this