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Social Sciences - Anthropology & Archaeology | Shadows of the Prophet - Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism (Reviews)

Shadows of the Prophet

Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism

Farrer, Douglas S.

2009, XX, 311 p.

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"Shadows of the Prophet is the eagerly awaited monograph on the practice of silat - the Malay art of self defence - based on extended ethnographic research by anthropologist, and silat adept, Douglas Farrer. This is a genuinely pathbreaking work which returns the ethnography of the Malay World to some of its traditional concerns, at the same time revealing the formative influence of so-called 'mystical' Sufi traditions on the religious life of modern Malays. A must read for anyone with an interest in modern forms of religious mysticism, 'traditional' martial arts in the contemporary world and the Sufi undercurrents in Southeast Asian Islam at the turn of the 21st century".

Joel S. Kahn, La Trobe University, Australia


"This book exemplifies the potentials of performance ethnography.  Being himself a dedicated practitioner of martial arts there is no doubt that Farrer has achieved insights into his subject that have not been available to other researchers.  No other work on silat has achieved this level of inside understanding of the phenomenon or of its remarkably transnationalised context today, nor has there been one that at the same time has so much new to say about Islam, art, embodiment and performance."

Roxana Waterson, National University of Singapore

 

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