Conference of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE): “Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices” — Online, with registration, 29 September – 1 October 2021


2021 Meeting of ENSIE
“Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices”
29 September-1 October 2021 on Zoom 

All times below are CEST (UTC+02:00). Participants will be sent a Zoom link the day before the conference starts; other members of ENSIE who wish to attend should request the link by sending an email to ensie21[at]; those who are not already members can join here.

13:30–14:00: Welcome and introduction
14:00–15:30: Panel 1: Premodern Esotericism and the Occult. Moderator: Michele Petrone 
  • Liana Saif (Amsterdam): “The (Non)Esotericism of Jābir ibn Ḥayyān.”
  • Mohammad Amin Mansouri (Toronto): “Reading the World as an Occult Qurʾan: Nāṣir-i Khusraw and Prophetic Revelation.”
  • Yuki Nakanishi (Waseda): “Editing the Cosmos, Rebooting the Occult: Şemseddin Fenari and the Akbarian Renaissance of Alchemy and Astrology.”
15:30–16:00: Break
16:00–17:00: Panel 2: Socio-political Contexts and Applications of Esotericism in South Asia and the Ottoman World. Moderator: Mark Sedgwick ​
  • Hunter Bandy (EPHE): “Mapping the Subtle Points of Sovereignty in South Asian Shiʿi Sufism.”
  • Marinos Sariyannis and Dimitris Giagtzoglou (IMS/FORTH, Rethymno):  “Ottoman Esotericism and its Social Contexts.”

13:30–15:00: Panel 3: The Sufi Revival in the Post-Socialist World: Memory, Continuity and Reinvention. Moderator: Mark Sedgwick
  • Lili Di Puppo (HSE, Moscow): “Remembering Eternity: Re-awakening the Muslim Self and the Sacred Land in Russia’s Urals.”
  • Gianfranco Bria (Sapienza, Rome): “Nationalism, Sainthood and Albanian Characters:  Reinventing Bektashism in Post-Socialist Era.”
  • Ksenia Trofimova (Russian Academy of Sciences): “A Core Value or a Stigma: The Grand Dhikr and Nowruz Celebrations’ Role in Creating Religious Subjectivities among Sufi Believers in North Macedonia.”
  • Eva Rogaar (Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): “Spiritual Trajectories of Sufis in Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia.”
15:30–16:00: Break
16:00–17:30: Keynote, delivered by Nile Green (UCLA): “Islam and Esotericism in Global Intellectual History: Comparisons, Problems & Methods.”
  • Highlighting the problems of studying inter-regional and inter-religious exchange, this lecture asks how we might analyze the “and” that links “Islam and Esotericism” in the title of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism. After drawing on studies of other religious traditions to contextualize and normalize our particular search for Islamic ties to Western esotericism, the lecture turns to questions of geography, communications, and the process of translation. By bringing into focus the spaces and mechanisms through which Muslims came into contact with esoteric Euro-American texts and organizations, the lecture suggests methods for surmounting the conceptual, empirical and interpretive challenges that our enquiries share in common with global intellectual history.

13:30–15:00: Panel 4: Twentieth-Century Islamic Esotericism in the West: Borges, Gurdjieff and Eurasianism. Moderator: Liana Saif
  • Kurosh Amoui (York): “’Orient’ is a Section of the Library: Jorge Luis Borges and Islamicate Esotericism.”
  • Makhabbad Maltabarova (Jena): “Islam and Gurdjieff.”
  • Francesco Piraino (Ca’ Foscari, Venice): “Riding the Conspiracy Tiger: the Eurasianist Movement in Italy.”
15:00–15:30: Break
15:30–16:30: Panel 5: Theology and Ethics in Twentieth-Century Sufism: Malaysia and Turkey. Moderator: Francesco Piraino 
  • Fadila Ezzat (EPHE): “Mysticism, kalām and Philosophy in the Works of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas.”
  • Feyza Burak-Adli (Northwestern): “The Gendered Sufi Ethics of Neoliberal Aesthetics: Female Religious Authority, Gender, and Class in Turkey.”
 16:30–16:45: Break
16:45–17:15: Closing plenary

The meeting is being held in 2021 rather than 2022 (when it would normally be held, following ENSIE’s standard practice) because the 2021 meeting of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), of which ENSIE is a thematic network, has moved its 2021 conference to 2022 because of Covid, and ENSIE’s 2022 meeting will therefore be part of ESSWE’s 2022 conference. 

Scientific committee 
The meeting is organised by
  • Mark Sedgwick, Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, Aarhus University, and Convener of ENSIE
  • Liana Saif, assistant professor in the History of Western Esotericism in The Middle Ages, University of Amsterdam
  • Francesco Piraino, Postdoc, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, and Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Michele Petrone, Adjunct professor, Università di Milano

Contact: info[at]

More information: here

Citer ce billet
Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2021, 27 septembre). Conference of the European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE): “Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices” — Online, with registration, 29 September – 1 October 2021. IISMM. Consulté le 19 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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