Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis, and Islam by Katherine Pratt Ewing

By Katherine Pratt Ewing

In Arguing Sainthood, Katherine Pratt Ewing examines Sufi non secular meanings and practices in Pakistan and their relation to the Westernizing impacts of modernity and the shaping of the postcolonial self. utilizing either anthropological fieldwork and psychoanalytic conception to severely reinterpret theories of subjectivity, Ewing examines the construction of id within the context of a posh social box of conflicting ideologies and interests.
Ewing reviews Eurocentric cultural theorists and Orientalist discourse whereas additionally taking factor with expatriate postcolonial thinkers Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. She demanding situations the suggestion of a monolithic Islamic modernity to be able to discover the lived realities of people, quite these of Pakistani saints and their fans. via reading the continuities among present Sufi practices and past renowned practices within the Muslim international, Ewing identifies within the Sufi culture a reflexive, serious awareness that has frequently been linked to the trendy topic. Drawing on her education in scientific and theoretical psychoanalysis in addition to her anthropological fieldwork in Lahore, Pakistan, Ewing argues for the worth of Lacan in anthropology as she offers the root for retheorizing postcolonial reviews.

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He countered with the claim that he had gotten the idea twenty years ago, from books. For my benefit, this man had constructed what was to his wife, at least, a new narrative. Its purpose within the context of our conversation was to position himself explicitly against the pir and against his "traditional" neighbors who are the pir's followers, taking for himself the moral high ground through his claim to a purer Islam. But this objectification of his own religious identity would seem to be a contextually specific phenomenon and did not bear a close relationship to his religious practice in other situations.

It is thus a specific type of reflexive activity. Gramsci took this formation of reflexive, coherent consciousness to be a new phenomenon. When hegemony was experienced as a coherent order, it would no longer be unconscious. Though he recognized the ever-present potential for a more critical, reflexive consciousness through history by seeing the philosopher in everyman, he also in my opinion unjustifiably identified the emergence of a "new" kind of critical consciousness and overrated the potential of modern institutions to create such a consciousness by putting too much faith in the rational, critically conscious subject.

The subject is reduced to an effect of a nonsubjective process, and individuals are seen only to the extent that they assume subject positions within a specific historical formation. By focusing on a discourse that is abstracted from specific social relations and by talking of the subject of that discourse rather than of multifaceted individuals, theorists in the Foucauldian tradition avoid addressing the question of whether the experience of the naturalness of a discourse is a property of concrete social situations.

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