Words of Experience
Carl W. Ernst devoted his academic life to translating Islam, linguistically and culturally, typically within the intellectual context of Religious Studies. His work has focused on how Islamic concepts have travelled across time and space, and his influence on Islamic Studies and Religious Studies is far-reaching. This volume features contributions from long-standing colleagues, scholars whose own work has built on Ernst’s contributions, and former students. It looks at themes in Islamic Studies that Ernst has addressed and expands on his major contributions.
Essays in this volume touch nearly every major element in Islamic Studies – from the Qur’an to Sufism, Islamophobia to South Asian Islam, historical and contemporary praxis, music and more. This collection demonstrates one core tenet of Ernst’s work, specifically the argument that Islam is not rooted in one place, time or language, but is a vast network, routed through myriad places, times and languages.
Published: Mar 24, 2021
Not only is the legacy and influence of Carl Ernst a formidable one for the field that deserves attention and serious consideration, but the majority of contributors build from his insights and methods to develop important lines of inquiry in their own right. Almost anyone in Islamic Studies would find this work important and compelling, and individual contributions clearly have resonance beyond this group in the fields of South Asian Studies, Persian Studies, Virtual Religion, American Religion, Sufism, and the academic study of religion.
Anna Bigelow, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University, USA
When taken as a whole, this rich and diverse collection of essays, reflects in many ways the rhythmic ebb and flow at the heart of Carl Ernst’s vital and animating body of scholarship. Each piece, in its own matter, is working to carve new pathways. Whether engaging with specific subfields, exploring the limits, ambiguities, and intersections of disciplines, or critically assessing and challenging the structures of the academy, the works gathered herein disclose where the thrumming heart of scholarship could and ought to go.
Journal of Sufi Studies
Almost anyone in Islamic Studies would find this work important and compelling, and individual contributions clearly have resonance beyond this group in the fields of South Asian Studies, Persian Studies, Virtual Religion, American Religion, Sufism, and the academic study of Religion, not to mention Politics.
The Muslim World Book Review
As a whole, Words of Experience showcases tremendous expertise in Islamic studies and pathways for future inquiry. With its emphasis on methodology, reflexivity, and public engagement, this collection might also serve as a useful reference for the academic study of religion broadly. As Morgenstein Fuerst notes about what it means to perform Islamic studies, this collection illustrates “how one exists and ought to exist in the academy” (252). For that reason, Words of Experience will be an invaluable resource for humanities and social science students for years to come.
A worthy homage to a teacher— full of contributions worth reading, chewing over, engaging, disagreeing, and being inspired to think further on Sufism, Islam, and the study of religion.
Religious Studies Review
All of Ernst’s collaborators will find corroboration here, as will most scholars in the fields of Islamic, Sufi and Persian Studies. This book should also be read by graduate students just beginning their careers, as it sets a high bar for a meaningful academic life. They will also find meat in the short Afterword, in which Ernst responds to certain essays and comments further regarding possibilities for ongoing research.