« Sufism and middle class »
The presentation will include review of the approaches of the social sciences and its suitability to study religious phenomenon.
Shaikh Al Bur.ai (1923-2005) which is the case study of the research is one of the most celebrated Shaikhs of the Sammaniyya Sufi order in Sudan. He managed to establish an open edged tariqa that attracted large sections of the educated Sudanese middle class.
The dissertation is trying to answer the question: To what extent the phenomenon of Shaikh Al Bur.ai represented the crisis of the middle class in Sudan? The middle class represented the audience target group of Shaikh Al Bur.ai as it is the most class seriously affected by identity and the economic crises that took place in Sudan since the last thirty years.
The educated middle class was economically impoverished and politically marginalized. In particular it is the class that was badly affected by the economic policies and macro-structures of the 1990s that witnessed a total-desubsidization and the weakening of public sector that coincided with privatization. The process of privatization witnessed thousands of lay-offs.