Irina Katkova, born in St. Petersburg, in 1967. Ph.D. from St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies. Research Fellow at the Department of South and Southeast Asia, St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies.
Visiting Grant Scholar (1 September 2004 – 30 November 2004)
SUFISM IN INDONESIA. STUDYING MALAY MANUSCRIPTS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE ST. PETERSBURG INSTITUTE OF ORIENTAL STUDIES
The opportunity of staying at NIAS for three months and its excellent facilities meant I was able to prepare an extensive overview of the relevant literature and expand my knowledge in the fields of psychotherapy and psychology. In the light of the topic of my research – Sufism in Indonesia, I can hardly think of a more appropriate place to work on my project, which looks at the role of the Sufi concept “wilaya” in modern Indonesia; “Saints” of the twenty-first century and studying Sufi literature of the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. I was especially able to work on the problems of Islamic concepts of knowledge and the transmission of knowledge from sheikh to murid, from teacher to disciple in Sufism as well as on the special role of dreams and imagination in this process.
I also wrote an article, “Notes on the treatise by Shaikh Abd as-Samad al-Palembani “Tuhfat ar-Raghibin fi Bayani Hakikat al-Iman” (“A Gift addressed to those desirous of an exposition of the essence of the Muslim faith”) which is going to be published in the Journal Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV Press) in 2005.
I also appreciate my discussions with Writer-in-Residence Jachym Topol and cooperation with the Prague Publishing House who will most probably publish my novel “The Rainbow Bridge”.