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SATS is an international, cross-disciplinary, and comparative research project based at Aarhus University.  Funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities from 2010 to 2013, SATS analyzes the rising but largely ignored popularity of Sufism in a politically changing, late-modern world through a detailed ethnographic and historical investigation of a selected group of transnational Sufi networks or orders (turuq). SATS is organized and run in cooperation between the Department of Anthropology and Arab and Islamic studies /science of Religion at the Department of "Culture and Society."


Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, has become increasingly visible as a spiritual alternative to other varieties of Islam since the 1960s, and its popularity seems to have increased further in the last decade – even though at the same time political anxiety about Islam and its negative treatment in the popular press have also both increased.  The research network seeks to:

  • Explore the specific characteristics of Sufism as a new and global religious movement that may explain its current broad appeal.
  • Highlight how this appeal may contribute to a better understanding of the space of religion in late modernity.



For more information, see detailed description of the research project and the individual research projects