In This Review

Sufism, Mystics, and Saints in Modern Egypt
Sufism, Mystics, and Saints in Modern Egypt
By Valerie J. Hoffman
University of South Carolina Press, 1995, 461 pp

Sufism is often seen as little more than a popular version of Islam involving saint worship and whirling dervishes. Yet in much of the Middle East, and in Egypt as this study shows, Sufism is much more than that. The author, trained as an anthropologist and a linguist, has spent time studying Sufi texts and practices and produced a well-rounded, serious work. She includes a discussion of Egyptian Coptic mysticism as well. Among other points of emphasis, Hoffman notes the important role played by women in the Sufi tradition.