Oleg Yarosh

Oleg Yarosh graduated from the Odesa State University with MA in History in 1993.

In 2002 he received PhD in Philosophical Anthropology at the Institute of Philosophy in Kyiv. Since 2006 till present time Prof. Yarosh is heading the History of Oriental Philosophy Department in the same Institute.

Professor Oleg Yarosh has received several research fellowships: Oxford Theological Exchange Programme Scholarship at University of Oxford (1997 – 1998), Postgraduate Scholarship at the Graduate School for Social Research in Warsaw (1999 – 2003), DAAD Scholarship at Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin (2008), Fulbright Scholar Fellowship at Kennan Institute in Washington DC (2009), Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies Fellowship (2014), Swedish Institute Visby Senior Scholarship at the University of Gothenburg (2016 – 2017). Since 2017 he has been appointed honorary research associate at Asia Center in the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.

His major research subject is Islam and Muslims in Europe with special focus on Western Sufism. Professor Yarosh is also interested in Anthropology of Religion and Comparative Philosophy.

Research project: Transnational Sufism in the western sociocultural settings: globalizing ‘redemptive socialities’

Present project aims at mapping history and analyzing contemporary development of Sufism in the West from the institutional perspective within the context of several major transnational Sufi orders. The main focus here is on the problem of formation of collective solidarity in the western Sufi communities.

In minority situation in the West where these cosmopolitan communities that comprise born Muslims and converts found itself, oppositions between authenticity and belonging to the host societies, inclusion and exclusion become even more crucial than in the Muslim-majority countries. The concept of ‘redemptive sociality’ regarded here in line with Pnina Werbner’s conceptualization as a form of collective solidarity based on allegiance to charismatic Sufi Shaykh (Werbner 2001). These spiritual ties thought to be everlasting and oriented towards afterlife, at the same time the ‘bonds of spirit’ between disciples have effects on their life trajectories beyond the Sufi community.

Present research is interdisciplinary in its nature and combines historical inquiry into the development of the western Sufi communities and anthropological research based on the data collected through fieldwork in the western Sufi groups. It will also address broader scope of issues, including theoretical inquiry into concepts of ‘religious authority’, ‘charisma’, ‘spiritual capital’, and ‘collective solidarity’.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2018 - 28 February 2019