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  • Preface

    Tony K. Stewart

    Chapter from the book: Stewart, T. 2019. Witness to Marvels: Sufism and Literary Imagination.


    The tales of the fictional Sufi saints of Bengal, pir katha, constitute one of the largest bodies of early modern literature in both manuscript and print culture. This five-century literary production persists today, yet its cultural work has been rendered invisible, an act of agnotology, which denotes the ways that prevailing structures of knowledge disguise what is otherwise obvious. The texts parody the Hindu mangal kavya tales of gods and goddesses, continuing their work of pacification and settlement of Bengal’s wild landscape, especially the littoral of the mangroves of the Sunderbans. The tales are new, not derivative, musalmani responses to the exigencies of a water-riddled land, insinuating their perspectives into Hindu Bengal in a manner consistent with Luckmann’s and Assman’s notions of invisible religion.

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    Stewart, T. 2019. Preface. In: Stewart, T, Witness to Marvels. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.76.a

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    Published on Sept. 13, 2019


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