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Özgen Felek

Bio: Özgen Felek is an academic researcher from Stanford University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Vision & Sufism. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 2 publications receiving 15 citations.
Topics: Vision, Sufism, Islam

Papers
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Book
01 Feb 2012

16 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Özgen Felek1
01 Jan 2012
TL;DR: In this paper, a close reading of the letters from the Ottoman sultan Murād III (r. 982-1003/1574-95) to his spiritual master Sucāʿ Dede provides insight into the struggles of the sultan with the realities of a master-disciple relationship as well as how the dependency is negotiated in real life.
Abstract: The master-disciple relationship requires a mutual recognition and dependency based on mutual passion and devotion, regardless of each member’s social, cultural, political, and ethical background. It is shaped by mystical etiquette as detailed in the Sufi tradition. The relationship between spiritual masters and their disciples has been dealt with at length in many studies, mainly based on the descriptions provided in normative Sufi texts. The present article demonstrates new perspectives in discussing how master-disciple relationships can be more complex than what the Sufi manuals portray. A close reading of the letters from the Ottoman sultan Murād III (r. 982–1003/1574–95) to his spiritual master Sucāʿ Dede provides insight into the struggles of the sultan with the realities of a master-disciple relationship as well as how the dependency is negotiated in real life. By presenting the inner dynamics of such a relationship from a disciple’s perspective, the letters of Murād III vividly exhibit that the master-disciple relationship has not always been as straightforward and pure in actual practice as it is described to be in the theoretical literature.

1 citations


Cited by
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Dissertation
01 Jun 2016
TL;DR: In this paper, a close textual, intertextual, and contextual analysis of several embedded narratives on emotions in three late sixteenth-and seventeenth-century travel books: Kit?b N??ir al-D?n 'ala 'l-Qawm al-K?fir?n: Mukhta?ar Ri?lat al-Shih?b 'ila Liq?´ al-A?b?b by Andalusian traveller Ahmed bin Q?sim al-ajar? (1570- c.1641), The
Abstract: The present study focuses on emotion discourses in early modern travel books. It attempts a close textual, intertextual, and contextual analysis of several embedded narratives on emotions in three late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century travel books: Kit?b N??ir al-D?n 'ala 'l-Qawm al-K?fir?n: Mukhta?ar Ri?lat al-Shih?b 'ila Liq?´ al-A?b?b by Andalusian traveller Ahmed bin Q?sim al-?ajar? (1570- c.1641), The Diary of Master Thomas Dallam by an English craftsman, Thomas Dallam (1575-1630), and Seyahâtnâme (The Book of Travels) by Ottoman traveller Evliya Celebi (1611-1685). In these travel books, al-?ajar?, Dallam, and Evliya narrate their journeys as emotionally protean experiences. They associate emotions with the contexts of their journeys, their volition to travel, and their authorial motives to write about their journeys. They display their emotions in their dreams, humour, and other subjective experiences. Their narratives yield uncommon notions of emotions, namely the emotions of encounter. A love story between a Muslim traveller and a Catholic girl, an English craftsman's anxiety at the court of an Ottoman Sultan, a disgusting meal in a foreign land, are just a few examples of emotionally freighted situations which are unlikely to be found in any genre but a travel book. The close textual analysis aims to identify the role of the writers' cultures in shaping and regulating their discourses on emotions. The intertextual and contextual analysis of these narratives reveals that the meaning and function of these displayed emotions revolve around the traveller's community affiliation, religion, ideology, and other culture-specific discourses and practices such as Sufism, folk medicine, myths, folk traditions, natural and geographical phenomena, cultural scripts, social norms, and power relations. In a nutshell, reading the travellers' discourses on emotions means reading many cultural and historical aspects of the early modern world. To approach discourses on emotions in texts of the past, the present study draws on the theory of culture-construction of emotions. It uses three analytical notions from the fields of language, anthropology and history of emotions: 'emotional communities', 'emotional styles' and 'emotional self-fashioning'. The present study uses a theoretical framework defined by a recent wave of studies on self-narratives as sources for the history and cultural diversity of emotions in the medieval and early modern periods. Within this approach, travel writing is seen as a self-narrative, a communicative act, and a social practice. This approach to emotion discourses in Ri?la, travel journals and Seyahat genres allows us to project the transcultural and entangled history of the early modern Mediterranean, which as much it was a contested frontier between Islam and Christianity, was also a space of religious conversion and hybrid identities, the articulation of diplomacy and cultural exchange, mysticism and religious pluralism. This approach also pinpoints the diverse forms of cosmopolitanism, or rather cosmopolitanisms, in the plural.

69 citations

Book
29 Mar 2016
TL;DR: Gagan D. Sood as mentioned in this paper focuses on ordinary people - traders, pilgrims, bankers, clerics, brokers, and scribes, among others - who were engaged in activities marked by large distances and long silences.
Abstract: Based on the chance survival of a remarkable cache of documents, India and the Islamic Heartlands recaptures a vanished and forgotten world from the eighteenth century spanning much of today's Middle East and South Asia. Gagan D. S. Sood focuses on ordinary people - traders, pilgrims, bankers, clerics, brokers, and scribes, among others - who were engaged in activities marked by large distances and long silences. By elucidating their everyday lives in a range of settings, from the family household to the polity at large, Sood pieces together the connective tissue of a world that lay beyond the sovereign purview. Recapturing this obscured and neglected world helps us better understand the region during a pivotal moment in its history, and offers new answers to old questions concerning early modern Eurasia and its transition to colonialism.

46 citations

Dissertation
01 Jan 2017
TL;DR: In this paper, a reading of the concept of the Sacred in a selection of texts by Assia Djebar, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Salman Rushdie is presented.
Abstract: This thesis provides a reading of the concept of the Sacred in a selection of texts by Assia Djebar, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Salman Rushdie. The aims of this thesis are threefold. The first aim is to demonstrate that the selected texts of the three authors creatively engage with the Sufi Islamic heritage through the use of symbolic expressions of the Sacred. The second aim is to argue that the symbols of the Sacred in the three authors’ works ontologically project what are termed here “intermediate worlds” of the Sacred. And the third aim is to gain a hermeneutic understanding of the concept of the Sacred in the literary works of Djebar, Ben Jelloun and Rushdie. In order to achieve these aims I adopt Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutic approach which allows me to interpret the symbolic and ontological underpinnings of the Sacred in the three authors’ works. Furthermore, I draw from the Sufi philosophy of Ibn Arabi, since locating this thesis within a Sufi conceptual and philosophical framework is essential given the Islamic tradition with which, as I argue, the three writers creatively engage. The contribution of this thesis consists in seeking new lines of inquiry by expanding on the predominant postcolonial, postmodern and feminist approaches to Djebar’s, Ben Jelloun’s and Rushdie’s work. By tracing affinities between the three authors’ selected texts, through a focus on the creative encounter with the Sacred, this thesis makes a new contribution to the study of the three authors in its aim of providing a broader understanding of their literary works. The symbols that I interpret in this thesis are the journey, the “hidden”, the “openings”, “darkness” and “light”. The choice of exploring the symbolic aspect of the journey is motivated by its link, as this thesis argues, with the Sacred journey of the Prophet Muhammad as well as with the meaning of a Sufi spiritual journey. I also chose to examine the four symbols of the “hidden”, the “openings”, “darkness” and “light” because of their connection to the Sacred names of God in the Islamic tradition and to their structural relations, as signifiers, to the symbol of the journey. In addition to the symbolic expressions of the Sacred, I explore in this thesis the ontological dimension of the experience of the Sacred in the three authors’ selected works. In this regard, I draw from Ibn Arabi’s Sufi concept of the barzakh which is an ontological concept that refers to an intermediate reality where the Sufi seeker encounters opposite worlds. My hermeneutic reading of the “projected worlds” in light of the concept of the barzakh highlights the creative encounter between the three authors’ selected texts and the Sacred. Hence, the Sacred is not presented as a definite and defined system of thought. On the contrary, it is argued that these texts oblige the reader to question philosophically how the Sacred is both expressed in the texts and experienced beyond the parameters of the texts.

32 citations

Book
09 Sep 2016
TL;DR: In this article, Mimi Hanaoka offers an innovative, interdisciplinary method of approaching these sorts of local histories from the Persianate world and highlights the preoccupation with authority to rule and legitimacy within disparate regional, provincial, ethnic, sectarian, ideological and professional communities.
Abstract: Intriguing dreams, improbable myths, fanciful genealogies, and suspect etymologies. These were all key elements of the historical texts composed by scholars and bureaucrats on the peripheries of Islamic empires between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. But how are historians to interpret such narratives? And what can these more literary histories tell us about the people who wrote them and the times in which they lived? In this book, Mimi Hanaoka offers an innovative, interdisciplinary method of approaching these sorts of local histories from the Persianate world. By paying attention to the purpose and intention behind a text's creation, her book highlights the preoccupation with authority to rule and legitimacy within disparate regional, provincial, ethnic, sectarian, ideological and professional communities. By reading these texts in such a way, Hanaoka transforms the literary patterns of these fantastic histories into rich sources of information about identity, rhetoric, authority, legitimacy, and centre-periphery relations.

25 citations