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Beyond Islam: Tradition and the Intelligibility of Experience

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Part of the Muslims in Global Societies Series book series (MGSS,volume 6)

Abstract

Rasanayagam focuses on the varying ways in which Islam is invoked as important to people in Uzbekistan and argues that to explore Islam either as a bounded discursive tradition or an objectified form can be misleading. The study opens the category ‘Muslim’ to ethnographic exploration in terms of people’s everyday life-worlds and pays attention to the ways that Uzbeks bring together a remarkably diverse range of ways of understanding morality, religion and the self. These are recognisable to many as distinctively ‘Islamic’ yet they are also mutually intelligible to varying others – Christians, atheists, the followers of new religions –who recognise shared forms of experience in them.

Keywords

  • Moral Reasoning
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Muslim Society
  • Healing Ability
  • Daily Prayer

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For an account of female rituals and religious practitioners in Uzbekistan see Kandiyoti and Azimova (2004), Peshkova (2006), Louw (2007), and Fathi (1997, 2006).

  2. 2.

    These descriptions recall a condition known as Bell’s palsy, which often clears up by itself after some time without biomedical treatment.

  3. 3.

    This is a school, which might be attached to a mosque or may be in the house of the teacher, where students learn how to recite the Qur’an.

  4. 4.

    One of these is the Aq jol movment in Kazakstan described in Jessa (2006).

  5. 5.

    This emphasis on the movement being a school rather than a religion echoes the recollection of a Sri Chinmoi centre for spiritual education by a novice follower of Sufism in Samarkand. This was established in the city during the perestroika years. It was part of a worldwide network of such centres which were founded by the Indian mystic and philosopher Sri Chinmoi, who was himself a follower of the teachings of the Sri Aurobindo. It is possible that the Teacher was influenced by the ideas of meditation and self-revelation preached at this centre.

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Correspondence to Johan Rasanayagam .

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Rasanayagam, J. (2012). Beyond Islam: Tradition and the Intelligibility of Experience. In: Marsden, M., Retsikas, K. (eds) Articulating Islam: Anthropological Approaches to Muslim Worlds. Muslims in Global Societies Series, vol 6. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4267-3_5

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