Modern Day Chishtis

  • Carl W. Ernst
  • Bruce B. Lawrence


While extensive attention has been given to the early Chishti Sufis, and even to their Mughal and colonial successors, the same cannot be said for the contemporary period. The latest period is not only treated as last, but also as least important. It is most often summarized as a “revival,” following a “decline” from the original greatness of a “classical” or “formative” period. Our own approach questions the threefold model of classicism, decline, and revival. Those who speak of a Chishti revival or resurgence too often imply that renewed attention to religious learning and the mediation of spiritual exemplars marks a new beginning, but it is a new beginning with limited horizons; at best it can imitate—it can never equal—the glory of past historical epochs.1 Hope, in this view, is limited, for while every movement must coalesce around a set of symbols and leaders, it remains reactive, a diminished response to outside, often colonial, forces. Success, too, is limited, for it depends on institution building and networking, yet rivals limit their long-range potential.


Meditative Practice Meditative Technique Religious Learning Musical Style Colonial Successor 
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Copyright information

© Carl W. Ernst and Bruce B. Lawrence 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl W. Ernst
  • Bruce B. Lawrence

There are no affiliations available

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