Central Asian Intellectuals on Islam
Between Scholarship, Politics and Identity
Sophie Roche (ed.)
Ulrike Freitag, Zentrum Moderner Orient
Klaus Schwarz Verlag
1. Edition (2014)
Paperback, 396 pages
This book brings together a selection of academic texts on Islam in Central Asia and the biographies of the authors. The collection of biographies of Islamic intellectuals ranging from office-holder, to (opposition) politicians and academics covers the late socialist period, perestroika and independence. They document the long-term transformations of Islamic identities by Central Asians and the impact intellectuals have on shaping contemporary society. The book aims to facilitate a comparative reflection on the conditions 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.
Most of the authors presented here are well-known in their scholarly or political field of action, so their articles have to be seen as authoritative texts in the same way as their biographies are. Thus in this book the focus is less on the delineation of a scholarly tradition (Oriental Studies), and more 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. She has conducted research on conflicts in Tajikistan with a focus on Islam, demography and biography.