Islam in Post-communist Eastern Europe

Between Churchification and Securitization


In Islam in Post-communist Eastern Europe: Between Churchification and Securitization Egdūnas Račius reveals how not only the governance of religions but also practical politics in post-communist Eastern Europe are permeated by the strategies of churchification and securitization of Islam. Though most Muslims and the majority of researchers of Islam hold to the view that there may not be church in Islam, material evidence suggests that the representative Muslim religious organizations in many Eastern European countries have been effectively turned into ecclesiastical-bureaucratic institutions akin to nothing less than ‘national Muslim Churches’. As such, these ‘national Muslim Churches’ themselves take an active part in securitization, advanced by both non-Muslim political and social actors, of certain forms of Islamic religiosity.

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Egdūnas Račius, Ph.D. (2004), University of Helsinki, is Professor in Islamic Studies at Vytautas Magnus University, and Senior Researcher in the project Post-secular Condition at Vilnius University, Lithuania. His research focuses on Eastern European Muslim communities. He is the author of Muslims in Eastern Europe (Edinburgh University Press, 2018).
‘Račius’ book is one of the best overviews of the macro-trends that run through post-communist Islam in Eastern Europe.’
Gianfranco Bria in Studia Islamica 117 (2022), 375-379.

'Račius’ book stands out as a successful synthesis of research on Islam in Eastern Europe […]. Rather than offering chapters on the individual countries, in each chapter the author juxtaposes the arrangements and constellations in all seven countries that he focuses on. Equally important is that Račius brings the discussion of Eastern European Islam into the broader debate on Islam in Europe.
This thought-provoking book makes an important contribution to the debate on Islam not only in post-socialist Europe but across the whole of the continent.'
Michael Kemper in Die Welt des Islams 61 (2021), 492-494.
List of Figures and Tables

Introduction: What? The Churchification of Islam; Where? In Eastern Europe

1 Notions of Church
 1.1 Grappling with Terms: Church and Other Forms of Religious Collectivities
 1.2 Islam—A Church-Less Religion?

2 Islam in Minority (Diaspora) Contexts
 2.1 The Diaspora: Between Migration, Ethnicity and Religion
 2.2 Muslims as (Religious) Diaspora(s): Immigrants versus Autochthons
 2.3 Fiqh al-aqalliyyat versus ‘Euro-Islam’/‘European’ Islam
 2.4 Patterns of Governance of Religion (with an Eye on Islam) in (Western) Europe

3 Key Concepts in the Regimes of Governance of Religion in Europe
 3.1 The Churchification of Islam in Europe
 3.2 The Securitization of Islam in Europe
 3.3 Religious Nationalism
 3.4 The Analytical Framework and Model

4 State-Church Relations in Eastern Europe: An Overview
 4.1 Islam in Eastern Europe: The Context
 4.2 Historical Precedents of State-Church Relations in Eastern Europe
 4.3 Frameworks of Governance of Islam in Post-communist Eastern Europe

5 Three Levels of (Non)Accommodation of Islam in Eastern Europe
 5.1 Legal Level
 5.2 Practical Politics Level
 5.3 Non-Muslim Social Actors Level

6 Bottom-Up View: Dynamics in the Islamic Field
 6.1 From Islamic Spiritual Administrations into National Muslim Churches
  6.1.1 “Encompasses the totality of believers of that faith understood here as a set of dogmas, rituals and ethics”
  6.1.2 “Has an ecclesiastical-bureaucratic structure staffed by professional (ordained) clergy”
 6.2 Inner-Islamic Plurality and Community Dynamics
Conclusions: The Winners, the Losers, and the Prospects
All interested in the development and governance of Islam in Eastern Europe, and anyone concerned state-religion relations and the state of religious freedom in the region.
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