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Saints, Scholars And The Acquisition Of Discursive Authority

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Chapter Summary

No religious leader could afford to completely ignore the place of descent in establishing one?s discursive credibility. As a result, lineage? variously defined?played at least some role in the discursive authority of every individual?s claims to religious authority. The leading figures of the ṭuruq, and their supporters, however, relied largely on other tools to bolster their claims to discursive authority. For many, reputations for ?learnedness? in the formal Islamic sciences constituted the basis of their authority. Others looked to what could be termed ?transcendence? or their ability to commune with the ?other world? as the foundation of their influence. In most cases, religious figures or their followers used a combination of all three to establish their discursive bonafides. This chapter looks at the various bases for an individual?s discursive authority and the different formulae that could be employed to enhance one?s social weight.

Keywords: ṭuruq; discursive authority; Islamic sciences; religious leader



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