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Islam in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan
The Morality of Experience


  • Date Published: November 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107411623

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • The Uzbekistan government has been criticized for its brutal suppression of its Muslim population. This book, which is based on the author's intimate acquaintance with the region and several years of ethnographic research, is about how Muslims in this part of the world negotiate their religious practices despite the restraints of a stifling authoritarian regime. Fascinatingly, the book also shows how the restrictive atmosphere has actually helped shape the moral context of people's lives, and how understandings of what it means to be a Muslim emerge creatively out of lived experience.

    • An ethnographically rich account of Muslim lives in post-Soviet Uzbekistan
    • Distinctive in its analysis of the effects of a repressive political system on religious practice and expression
    • Important contribution into a growing discussion within anthropology about the nature of the moral
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'For the novice to the field the book serves as a good introduction to the meanings of Islam in the area; for those well-versed in the field of Central Asian studies it is very important reading, not least because of its engagement with theory as well as the broader literature on the wider Islamic world (still rare in the field of Central Asian studies). I find [Rasanayagam's] attempt to bring the material into dialogue with current theoretical discussions on morality within anthropology particularly illuminating … Scholars and students interested in the anthropology of morality would find his discussions of experience as a moral source most interesting, and scholars interested in religion, politics and ideology would find lots of inspiration in the book as well.' Maria Louw, Contemporary Islam

    '… this is a very good book that should be read more broadly by social scientists interested in religion and politics, emotions and everyday life, and moral and social development.' David W. Montgomery, Ethnos

    '… Islam in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan is a considerable contribution to our understanding of the thorough transformations of the Central Asian region and Muslim societies on the whole, and anyone concerned with these issues will definitely benefit immensely from reading it.' David Henig, History and Anthropology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107411623
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: towards an anthropology of moral reasoning
    1. Islam and sociality in Pakhtabad and Samarkand
    2. The new Soviet (Central Asian) person and the colonization of consciousness
    3. Good and bad Islam after the Soviet Union: the instrumentalization of tradition
    4. The practical hegemony of state discourse
    5. The moral sources of experience: social, supernatural and material worlds
    6. Moral reasoning through the experience of illness
    7. Debating Islam through the spirits
    8. Experience, intelligibility and tradition.

  • Author

    Johan Rasanayagam, University of Aberdeen

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