Witness to Marvels: Sufism and Literary Imagination

Front Cover
Univ of California Press, Sep 13, 2019 - Religion - 336 pages
A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org. 

There is a vast body of imaginal literature in Bengali that introduces fictional Sufi saints into the complex mythological world of Hindu gods and goddesses. Dating to the sixteenth century, the stories—pīr katha—are still widely read and performed today. The events that play out rival the fabulations of the Arabian Nights, which has led them to be dismissed as simplistic folktales, yet the work of these stories is profound: they provide fascinating insight into how Islam habituated itself into the cultural life of the Bangla-speaking world. In Witness to Marvels, Tony K. Stewart unearths the dazzling tales of Sufi saints to signal a bold new perspective on the subtle ways Islam assumed its distinctive form in Bengal.


structures of narrative romance
The Parodic Work of Pīr Kathā
The Conditions of Possibility
A Practical Act of Conceptual
emplotment and extraDiscursive effects

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2019)

Tony K. Stewart is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Humanities at Vanderbilt University and a specialist in the religions and literatures of early modern Bengal. His works include The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritāmṛta and the Grammar of Religious Tradition and Fabulous Females and Peerless Pīrs: Tales of Mad Adventure in Old Bengal

Bibliographic information