In conjunction with the exhibition The Sufi and the Bearded Man
Saturday, 2 July 2011. 3-4.30pm. NUS Museum
To register, email: email@example.com
or call 6516 8429
In November 2009, the custodian of an erstwhile keramat received a notice calling upon him to remove his “open shed” from “State land”, a notice that was a milestone in the path of removing the shrine complex. The talk attempts to explore key oral traditions that play an active role in preserving the historical memory of cults centered around keramats such as the “open shed” that were, and continue to be, believed as the resting place of peripatetic saints celebrated for their miracles, learning and lineages. Such traditions, running through chains of transmission that linked anecdotes back to original storytellers, operate as of self-histories of cults that failed to inherit autobiographical records of their saints or keramats. The talk will also discuss how 19th century saints and shrines have been remembered in contemporary Singapore, often at the expense of ecstatic shrine cultures, Islam of the carnivalesque, the identity of the deceased saint, “Muslim” heritage, and architectural remains that connect place and memory.
Teren Sevea is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include Muslim saints and brotherhoods in nineteenth century Southeast Asia. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume entitled Sufism since the Eighteenth Century: Learning, Debate and Reform in Islam. He has also published articles on Muslim reformist connections between South and Southeast Asia.
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