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Heartspace : the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship and the culture of unity

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Title: Heartspace : the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship and the culture of unity
Author: Snyder, Benjamin H.
Advisor: Takenaka, Ayumi
Department: Bryn Mawr College. Dept. of Anthropology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 432492 bytes209746 bytes
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: The Philadelphia Branch of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship is a diversely populated spiritual community of about four hundred individuals located in suburban Philadelphia, which formed in the early 1970s around the Sri Lankan mystic Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. From 1971 to 1986, Bawa, as he is called, revealed the profound Truths of God to these seekers through a spiritual path closely related to and highly influenced by the mystical traditions of the Sufis and the Islamic faith. This project explores how this community was created, the nature of Bawa's path, how it has functioned in the lives of both generations, and the cultural phenomena of the community itself. The result of this inquiry is that the Fellowship is a modern spiritual community in the deepest sense. That is, it fulfills a deeper yearning for qausi-religious spiritual work in its members without excessive restriction to their modern conceptions of freedom and individuality as might occur in a stereotypical religious setting. At the same time, it caters to a deeper yearning for communal living and mutually reciprocating relationships while encouraging its members to remain fully engaged in wider society. This has occurred because, using Bawa's path as a foundation, the culture of the Fellowship is one that elevates the qualities which allow one to function cohesively in a communal setting and in the modern technological world to a divine level. Fellowship culture encourages a unity of inner beliefs and external actions, the transcendent and the mundane, the sacred and the secular.
Subject: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship
Subject: Sufis -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
Access Restrictions: Open Access
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Snyder, Benjamin H.. "Heartspace : the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship and the culture of unity". 2003. Available electronically from

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