The Sufi Paradigm and the Devotional Regimes of Knowledge



This chapter turns to the devotional regimes of knowledge. While the Sufi paradigm can be considered as producing devotional regimes of knowledge, the late nineteenth century saw the emergence or reformulation of other devotional regimes that may have positioned themselves as rivals of Sufism, or challenging it. These regimes share with the Sufi paradigm several components, such as a non-normative understanding of what is religious. Were these other devotional knowledge regimes weakened or in competition with the dominant Sindhi Sufi narrative? Four different devotional regimes of knowledge are studied: the Daryapanth, a local Hindu path, the Nanakpanth, a path usually related to Sikhism, Twelver Shiism, and Ismaili Shiism. The answer is contextual depending on the social organization of the groups producing these regimes of devotional knowledge. Nonetheless, the chapter underscores that these devotional regimes of knowledge borrowed many elements from the Sufi paradigm. Since the Sufi paradigm worked as a main process in building a modern Sindhi identity, they rather tried to be a part of the paradigm, in using the same technical lexicon, for instance. Furthermore, the main actors and followers belonged to minor groups, and many times, they were not in a position that allowed them to threaten the dominance of the Sufi paradigm.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for South Asian StudiesSchool for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS)/National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)ParisFrance

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