Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia

By Maria Elisabeth Louw

© 2007 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415491723
pub: 2008-11-28
US Dollars$54.95
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Hardback: 9780415413169
pub: 2007-04-24
US Dollars$168.00
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About the Book

Providing a wealth of empirical research on the everyday practise of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia, this book gives a detailed account of how Islam is understood and practised among ordinary Muslims in the region, focusing in particular on Uzbekistan. It shows how individuals negotiate understandings of Islam as an important marker for identity, grounding for morality and as a tool for everyday problem-solving in the economically harsh, socially insecure and politically tense atmosphere of present-day Uzbekistan. Presenting a detailed case-study of the city of Bukhara that focuses upon the local forms of Sufism and saint veneration, the book shows how Islam facilitates the pursuit of more modest goals of agency and belonging, as opposed to the utopian illusions of fundamentalist Muslim doctrines.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia 3. Sufism and the Veneration of Saints in Central Asia 4. Bukhara 5. Ziyorat 6. Journey in the Homeland 7. Imagining Time 8. Doing Business with Bibi Seshanba 9. Conclusion: Faraway so Close

About the Author

Maria Elisabeth Louw is an anthropologist currently based at the Department of Anthropology and Ethnography, University of Aarhus, Denmark. She has done extensive fieldwork in Central Asia, focusing in particular on everyday religion, morality and politics in the context of post-Soviet social change.

About the Series

Central Asian Studies

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS050000
HISTORY / Asia / Central Asia
REL037000
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOC002000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General