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Mark Sedgwick

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Mark Sedgwick

Mark Sedgwick (born London, England, July 20, 1960) is a British/Irish historian specializing in traditionalism, Islam, Sufi mysticism, and terrorism. He is Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at Aarhus University in Denmark and secretary of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.



Sedgwick was educated in England at Harrow School and Worcester College, Oxford. He did his PhD in Norway at the University of Bergen.

Encounter with Sufism and Traditionalism

While living in Cairo in 1990, Sedgwick encountered Sufis from both the Naqshbandiyya tariqa and the Traditionalist Maryamiyya. However, he did not join either group. He started research on Traditionalism in 1996.[1]


Sedgwick first taught history at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. In 2007 he moved to Aarhus University, Denmark as Coordinator of the Arab and Islamic Studies Unit. His books have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, and Serbian.[2]


Sedgwick has been identified as a Muslim convert, also known as Abd al-Azim.[3] He has been accused of “an undisclosed personal history with Traditionalism” and, therefore, of having “a personal and undisclosed bias against Traditionalism”.[4] He has also been accused of being a secret Traditionalist Sufi and part of a conspiracy against Enlightenment values.[5] He has pointed out that both charges can hardly be true at the same time and explained that his personal history with Traditionalism was early and limited. He claims this did not result in any bias one way or the other.[6]


  • Sufism: The Essentials. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2000.
  • Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • "Al-Qaeda and the Nature of Religious Terrorism" Terrorism and Political Violence 2004
  • Saints and Sons: The Making and Remaking of the Rashidi Ahmadi Sufi Order, 1799-2000. Brill, 2005.
  • Islam and Muslims: A Guide to Diverse Experience in a Modern World. Boston: Intercultural Press, 2006.
  • Muhammad Abduh. Oxford: Oneworld, 2009.
  • Islamic Myths and Memories: Mediators of Globalization. Editor, with Ulrika Mårtensson and Itzchak Weismann. Farnham: Ashgate Press, 2014.
  • Making European Muslims: Religious Socialization among Young Muslims in Scandinavia and Western Europe. Editor. New York: Routledge, 2014.


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  5. ^ Frederik Stjernfelt, "Mareridt: Dialog Mysteriet," Weekendavisen 15.01.2010 section 3 p. 1
  6. ^

External links

  • Aarhus University page
  • Sedgwick's website

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