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      In the Garden of Language: Religion, Vernacularization, and the Pashto Poetry of Arzānī in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

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          Abstract

          This article presents translations and analyses of some of the earliest known examples of Pashto literature: the poems of a figure known as Mullā Arzānī. The Pashto ghazals of Arzānī reflect a Sufi and messianic religio-cultural milieu in which Pashto is understood to be a divine language. An exploration of Arzānī’s poetry and Arzānī’s understanding of his own language use presents a strong challenge to the overly deterministic role that notions of “Pashtun identity” have played in Euro-American understandings of Pashto literature. Arzānī’s use of Pashto aimed not to express Pashtun ethnic identity. Rather, Arzānī’s ghazals position Pashto as an elite language that accords with the messianic and mystical logics of early modern Persianate cultures. Arzānī paired the cosmopolitanism of Persian and Islamic discourses with the particularity of Pashto language as a means to present Pashto as a divine and revelatory language within the messianic milieu of the Roshaniyya movement.

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          We Have Never Been Modern

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            We Have Never Been Modern

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              Christian moderns, freedom and fetish in the mission encounter

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                AFG
                Afghanistan
                Edinburgh University Press ( The Tun - Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson's Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ UK )
                2399-357X
                2399-3588
                April 2022
                : 5
                : 1
                : 122-147
                Article
                10.3366/afg.2022.0086
                827008b2-8aa8-4ac8-8fa8-fa47babc51f2
                © Edinburgh University Press
                History
                Page count
                References: 79, Pages: 26
                Categories
                Articles
                Historical Studies

                Political science,Literature of other nations & languages,Art history & Criticism,Religious studies & Theology,Arab world & Islam,History
                vernacular,Sufism,Roshaniyya,poetry,Islamic messianism,Pashtuns,Mullā Arzānī; ghazals ,Pashto literature

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