The Sufi and the Sickle: Mystical Marxism in Rural Pakistan

When and Where

Wednesday, December 01, 2021 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm


Shozab Raza


In worlds of difference, how might certain unities be forged for liberation? This presentation pursues this question from the vantage-point of the dialectical tension between Marxism and religion. While some scholars have noted parallels between the two, philosophers of critical realism have aimed to establish a deeper equivalence between Marxism and religion. This presentation, however, considers how an equivalence may be forged by subaltern actors in the context of political struggles—how a religious Marxism might look as a theoretical and political practice. I do this by historically reconstructing the life of “Sufi” Sibghatullah Mazari, a locally influential communist from Pakistan who equated Sufism with Mao-inflected Marxism.

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