Sufism in Latin America: a preliminary survey

Mark Sedgwick


Sufism, the Islamic tradition where the esoteric is most often found, has been present in Latin America since at least the 1920s, but has been studied very unevenly. This article provides a survey of what is known, and suggests priorities for future research. It covers the whole of Latin America but focuses on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, as these are the countries where there has historically been most activity, and where there is most activity today. It shows that all the varieties of Western Sufism that are known in Europe and the United States are also found in Latin America, mostly among Sufis who were born into Catholic families. Sufism, then, is an important part of the Latin American esoteric landscape. The article draws on work on Sufism outside Latin America and is based primarily on studies carried out in Latin America by Latin American scholars, supplemented occasionally by material from sources such as the internet. It is preparatory to the fieldwork that the author carried out after completing the article but before its publication. The article has been updated on the basis of that fieldwork only to remove obvious errors.

KEY WORDS: Sufism; Latin America; survey

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Copyright (c) 2018 Mark Sedgwick

Melancolia es la revista oficial del Centro de Estudios sobre el Esoterismo Occidental de la Unasur.
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ISSN 2526-1096

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