Roche, Sophie (dir.), Central Asian Intellectuals on Islam. Between Scholarship, Politics and Identity, Berlin, Zentrum Moderner Orient, coll. “ZMO-STUDIEN 32”, 2014, 396p.

Cover ZMO Studien 32

This book brings together a selection of academic texts on Islam in Central Asia and the biographies of the authors, most of them trained in Oriental Studies (vostokovedinie). The collection of biographies of Islamic intellectuals, ranging from officeholder to (opposition) politicians and academics, covers the late socialist period, perestroika and independence. They document the long-term transformations of Islamic identities of Central Asians and the impact intellectuals have on shaping contemporary society. The book aims to facilitate a comparative reflection on the effects of knowledge production on Islam in the matrix of social movements and the spirit of an epoch, personal life trajectories and convictions, politics and its effects. Several of the authors presented here are well-known in their scholarly or political field, so their articles have to be seen as authoritative texts in the same way as their biographies are. The main focus in this book is on the development of individual livelihoods and developments in a spectrum of scholarship, religious conviction and political activism.

Sophie Roche has an education in Social Anthropology and Central Asian Studies. In 2010 she completed a PhD at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. Between 2010 an 2013 she was a research fellow at the ZMO with a project on jihad in Tajikistan.


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