bruce b. lawrence

Sufi Martyrs of Love

Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Brotherhood in South Asia & Beyond, co-authored with Carl Ernst. New York: Palgrave Press, 2002

“Many others have written about both Sufism and the Chishtiyya. This book differs from them in two major ways. First, we use many texts produced by the Chishtis and their supporters that have been previously ignored or slighted. Second, we deliberately abandon the numbingly circular arguments, so prevalent in the literature, about a privileged “golden age” of Sufism in general and the Chishti order in particular. Instead, we advance a new historical periodization of five “cycles” in the development of the Chishtis. Our thesis is that a Sufi order such as the Chishtiyya is more than a parasitical legitimation of power or a nostalgic reverence for bygone saints; it is instead a complex of spiritual practice, historical memory, and ethical models, which continues to evolve from its medieval Islamic origins in response to the political, ideological, and technological transformations of the contemporary world.” From the introduction.