From Whirling to Trembling: A Montage of Dervishes' Performative Inquiries


QUALITATIVE INQUIRY, vol.18, no.1, pp.55-62, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1077800411427846
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.55-62
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


This article will be enacted through a performative script that incorporates the dual narratives of the journey of whirling and trembling dervishes by montaging images from Peter Brooks' movie Meetings With Remarkable Men. Denzin and Lincoln's notion of the montage is experimented as an editing technique where a series of images and texts are edited into a sequence to condense a narrative. Whirling and trembling dervishes are devotional performers and inquirers of the Islamic sect of Sufism. Their performative inquiries are centered on the idea of an organic unity of groundlessness, nothingness, and love. However, the performances of whirling and trembling dervishes differ from each other-while the former offers a type of nonrestrictive but conventional order of inquiry, the latter constitutes a formless chaos, an ongoing performance, both deconstructive and creative. Two educative narratives called menkibe in Islamic inquiry will be edited into a sequence to demonstrate the distinction between the tariqas (paths, performances) of whirling and trembling dervishes. At the end of the article, implications of the performances of whirling and trembling dervishes on social science inquiry will be discussed.