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A Brief History of Western Sufism

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
Author:
Hülya Küçük Selçuk University

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Abstract

Sufism's popularity in the West is an issue known by everybody who is interested in it. It is certain that because of its tolerance of other religions and cultures, Sufism was welcomed among the Europeans who, through a variety of means, had had contact with it. This article intends to present a descriptive and representative historical overview of Western Sufism. It is also a probe in passing to understand the reasons for Western people's interest in Sufism. The Western Shadhiliyya and the Chistiyya in the West will occupy much more space in this work than the rest of the Sufi movements in the West, because of their pioneering role as the first Sufi movements introduced to the West. They paved way for or formed the background to later Sufi movements and facilitated their popularity in the West via their publications and conferences.

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