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Recherches et débats

Nationalisation des sanctuaires soufis, « soufisation » de l’État pakistanais ?

The “Nationalisation” of Sufi Sanctuaries, a “Sufisation” of the Pakistani State?
Alix Philippon
p. 277-297


In Pakistan, the nationalisation of Sufi shrines has had ambiguous, even contradictory effects. My hypothesis is of the absorption of the bureaucracy of the ministry of pious foundations (Awqaf) in the traditional universe of Sufism that it was initially intent on modernizing. In order to insure its legitimacy, the state sought to appropriate an elusive religious solidarity but also had to revive it in order to benefit from its symbolic resources and to communicate with society. The replacement of the Sufi’s charismatic authority by a bureaucratic and anonymous governmental one succeeded only because of the administration’s manipulation of Sufi symbols and practices, to the extent of submitting to them.

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Bibliographical reference

Alix Philippon, « Nationalisation des sanctuaires soufis, « soufisation » de l’État pakistanais ? », Journal des anthropologues, 158-159 | 2019, 277-297.

Electronic reference

Alix Philippon, « Nationalisation des sanctuaires soufis, « soufisation » de l’État pakistanais ? », Journal des anthropologues [Online], 158-159 | 2019, Online since 03 January 2022, connection on 08 May 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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About the author

Alix Philippon

CHERPA (croyance, histoire, espace, régulation politique et administrative), Sciences Po Aix.
Courriel :

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Journal des anthropologues

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