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Contemplation and surrender as forms of undoing and knowing in an uncertain world [Muslim Worlds Network (MWN)] 
Lili Di Puppo (University of Helsinki)
Fabio Vicini (University of Verona)
Stefan Williamson Fa (Lund University)
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Stefan Williamson Fa (Lund University)
Thursday 18 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel addresses forms of knowledge that emphasise undoing by drawing inspiration from Muslim and other religious ontologies. We welcome papers that investigate how acts of contemplation and surrender in various religious traditions unveil other modes of knowing and, relatedly, of (un)doing.

Long Abstract:

This panel addresses the question of ‘(un)doing’ in anthropology raised in the EASA 2024 conference’s theme, by drawing inspiration from the ontologies and epistemologies that anthropologists researching Islam and other religious traditions encounter in the field. In particular, we welcome papers that investigate how the acts of contemplation and surrender, common to these traditions, unveil other modes of knowing and, relatedly, of doing and undoing the ways humans experience the world. Relatedly we ask whether these other modes of knowing are more able than conventional approaches to respond to the main uncertainties of our times.

Contemplation and surrender as modes of approaching reality differ from a tradition of knowledge that emphasises power and control in the social sciences and Western academia at large. The ideals of accurately understanding phenomena for the purpose of predicting the future that have guided modern knowledge approaches are increasingly unsettled by climate change, wars, pandemics, and end-of-times prophecies. In contrast to the pursuit of predictability, religious traditions present us with other forms of knowledge that emphasise ‘undoing’. By ‘undoing’ we mean the act of relinquishing claims to power in the presence of a world filled with wonders and mysteries, experiencing it from a position of surrendering that foregrounds the use of other human faculties, like for example, the heart in the Islamic Sufi tradition. The panel hence aims to explore how such and other ‘religious positionings’ that foster ‘surrendering states’ such as peace, acceptance and also ‘tranquil awakening’ prompt us to rethink anthropological knowledge.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -