"Cyber Sufis: Rebooting the Inayati Order in the Digital Age"
Within the complex ecosystem of American religious life, Cyberspace offers tech-savvy Muslims an alternative platform for narratives and networking, piety and performance. Since the adoption of the printing press, Sufis have demonstrated a remarkable ability to adopt and adapt to emerging media technologies. Even so, the expanding use of the Internet by global Sufi communities remains largely unexplored by academic scholarship. What is 'new' about new media, and what is the future of digital religion? Drawing on a forthcoming book, this talk spotlights key patterns, tropes and trajectories in Cyber Sufism by exploring how the Inayati Order in North America—a hybrid Sufi order with South Asian roots and an expanding global reach—deploys digital media to refashion authority, identity, and ritual practice.