Sufi Devotional Aesthetics

Fieldwork in Contemporary Sufi Communities in the Balkans


  • Sara Kuehn Department of Islamic-Theological Studies, University of Vienna



Immersive ethnography, multisensorial ethnography, ethnography and the aesthetics of religion, Sufism


Through an examination of visual materiality and ritual landscapes, this study takes a multidimensional approach to unraveling the nuances of Sufi devotional aesthetics. It explores the convergence of religion and aesthetics, focusing on the sensory dimensions of religious expression. In line with the methodological trends inspired by the ‘aesthetic turn,’ the aim is to shed light on various facets of ethnographic experience within contemporary Sufi communities in the Balkans. Drawing on insights from a decade of fieldwork, two case studies are presented that illustrate how an immersive, multisensory, and collaborative approach to fieldwork can be effectively used to explore the instrumental role of Sufi mystical experience in shaping devotional aesthetics in the region.




How to Cite

Kuehn, S. (2024). Sufi Devotional Aesthetics: Fieldwork in Contemporary Sufi Communities in the Balkans. Marburg Journal of Religion, 25(1).