Remembering Al-Andalus

: Ṣūfī Pathways of Engagement Between Jews and Muslims in Israel and Their Contribution to Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation

  • Yafiah Katherine Randall

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This doctoral thesis investigates the practice of Sufism and Ṣūfī inspired activities among Jews and Muslims in Israel and examines their potential contribution to peace and reconciliation by creating pathways of engagement between members of the two faith traditions. The history of the interreligious encounters between Muslim and Jewish mystics in medieval Al-Andalus and Fustāt, Egypt is presented as the narrative of a heritage common to Jews and Muslims practising Sufism together in contemporary Israel. The examples of Ṣūfī practice in Israel that are revealed in this study demonstrate the continuity of such exchanges. The narratives of Israeli-Jews who are engaging regularly with Israeli-Muslim-Ṣūfīs form the primary source material for the study. The narrators consist of those who identify themselves as Jewish-Ṣūfīs; those who have adopted Ṣūfī concepts and practices; those who have gained an insider perspective of Sufism but who do not define themselves as Ṣūfīs; and those who have taken hand with a Muslim Ṣūfī Shaykh in the traditional manner of the Ṣūfī orders. They all remain rooted in their own Jewish faith and see no dissonance in the adoption of traditionally Ṣūfī practices to pursue a path of spiritual progression. The focus of the investigation on the potential of Sufism in Israel to provide a channel of mutual engagement between Jews and Muslims situates the thesis within the discipline of Ṣūfī Studies while also constituting an original contribution to academic studies on conflict transformation and Jewish-Muslim relations. The investigation presents an original approach to the study of reconciliation in that those studied are not members of explicitly named peace groups. It establishes the reconciliatory potential of the Ṣūfī-based engagement between some members of the Jewish and Muslim faith communities in Israel and situates this within the wider context of grass-roots peace initiatives and constitutes the first examination of the Derekh Avraham Jewish-Ṣūfī Order.
Date of Award1 Apr 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorAnna King (Supervisor) & Paul Hedges (Supervisor)

Cite this

Remembering Al-Andalus: Ṣūfī Pathways of Engagement Between Jews and Muslims in Israel and Their Contribution to Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation
Randall, Y. K. (Author). 1 Apr 2014

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis