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In Amma's Healing Room  - Gender and Vernacular Islam in South Asia
In Amma's Healing Room - Gender and Vernacular Islam in South Asia

In Amma's Healing Room - Gender and Vernacular Islam in South Asia

by Joyce Bukhalter Flueckiger

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Product ID:24375




Orient Longman


8125033653 - Year: 2008 - Pages: 295



Joyce Bukhalter Flueckiger
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Author: Joyce Bukhalter Flueckiger
Publisher: Orient Longman
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 295
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8125033653


This account is a vivid and compelling study of the life and thought of a female Muslim spiritual leader " Amma" to her family and disciples. Joyce describes Amma's practice as a form of vernacular Islam that has arisen in a particular locality, one in which the boundaries between Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are fluid.

In the "Healing Room" Amma meets a diverse clientele that includes mean as well as women, and people of various religious and social backgrounds. Seated at a small table, writing amulets in
Arabic while her husband, "Abba", himself a Sufi master, operates a small store catering to the waiting crowd, Amma advises her disciples, who come to her with a wide range of physical, social and physiological affliction.

Even as she declares that the most important distinction among human is that of gender, not religion, Amma crosses those boundaries to practice in a traditionally male ritual role, and most continually recreate and maintain her authority as healer to "meet the public".

Flueckiger's collaboration with Amma over a number of years is an integral part of the story she tells. Much of Amma;s complex cosmology is presented in her own words. The author describes her research methods and growing understanding of her material in terms of a deepening relationship with Amma, to whom she related at different moments as daughter, disciple and researcher.

The resulting study is a work of insight, compassion that challenges widely held views of religion and gender in India as it reveals the creativity of a tradition too often portrayed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike as singular and monolithic.


A Note on Transliteration

Introduction: Called to Amma's Courtyard
Setting the Stage: The Healing Room, Its Actors. And Its Rhythms
The Healing System
Patient Narratives in the Healing Room
Negotiating Gender in the Healing Room
Religious Identities at the Crossroads
Immersed in Remembrance and Song: Religious Identities, Authority, and Gender at the Sama
Conclusion: Vernacular Islam embedded in Relationships

Death and Difference: A Conversation
Select Bibliography

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