From Miracles to Sorcery: Knowledge and Practice in the Work of the Kunta Scholars
Dr. Ariela Marcus-Sells
Dr. Ariela Marcus-Sells is an Assistant Professor and Distinguished Emerging Scholar in the Department of Religious Studies at Elon University. She received a PhD in Religious Studies/Islamic Studies from Stanford University in 2015. Her research focuses on Sufi intellectual history, the history of Muslim societies in West Africa, and the relationship between the categories of Religion, Magic, and Science. Her current book project, Sorcery or Science: Contesting Knowledge and Practice in West African Sufi Texts examines the role of the sciences of the unseen (ʿulūm al-ghayb) in Arabic manuscript texts produced by Saharan Sufi scholars writing at the turn of the nineteenth century. Her research has been generously supported by fellowships from the Institute of International Education, the Melon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities and has been published in The Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Multidisciplinary Studies, History of Religions, and Oxford Bibliographies in Islamic Studies.