‘That which we have forgotten’: The Emergence of ‘Traditional Islam’ as a New Movement in Global Muslim Religious Contestation


  • Ron Geaves Liverpool Hope University




Sufism, Islam in the West, minority religions


This article explores the global emergence of new forms of Sufism that are successfully engaging with Salafi and Wahhabi discourses under the label of Traditional Islam or TI, and assesses the impact of this current movement in Sufism and the continued resilience of the Sufi tradition in the modern era. This article compares and contrasts two case studies: first, that of the diaspora presence of Muslims in Britain and second, the embattled Muslim struggle for survival in Jerusalem, showing how Traditional Islam has developed ‘third way’ strategies in both places, discursively linked to a global revival of Sufism and drawing upon Islamicisation as a fund for promoting their version of authentic Islam. The article concludes that the TI network demonstrates both continuity with history and change in relation to the impact of modernity.

Author Biography

Ron Geaves, Liverpool Hope University

Professor Ron Geaves holds a Chair in the Comparative Study of Religion in the Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies department of Liverpool Hope University. The author of nineteen books on religion, his research interests focus upon the transmigration of Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam into the UK. He began his work on the study of contemporary Islam in Britain and its diverse religious groups in 1990 when he embarked upon postgraduate research at the University of Leeds focusing on the newly created Community Religions Project. In recent works he has been arguing for the revival of Sufism globally and also focusing on Victorian and Edwardian Muslim communities in Britain.



How to Cite

Geaves, R. (2013). ‘That which we have forgotten’: The Emergence of ‘Traditional Islam’ as a New Movement in Global Muslim Religious Contestation. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 26(1), 29–50. https://doi.org/10.1558/arsr.v26i1.29