Thirty years after the fall of Soviet power, we are beginning to understand that the experience of Muslims in the USSR continued patterns of adaptation and negotiation known from Muslim history in the lands that became the Soviet Union, and in other regions as well; we can also now understand that the long history of Muslims situating religious authority locally, in the various regions that came under Soviet rule, in fact continued through the Soviet era into post-Soviet times.
The present volume is intended to historicize the question of religious authority in Muslim Central Eurasia, through historical and anthropological case studies about the exercise, negotiation, or institutionalization of authority, from the nineteenth to the early twenty-first century; it thus seeks to frame Islamic religious history in the areas shaped by Russian and Soviet rule in terms of issues relevant to Muslims themselves, as Muslims, rather than solely in terms of questions of colonial rule.
Contributors are Sergei Abashin, Ulfat Abdurasulov, Bakhtiyar Babajanov, Devin DeWeese, Allen J. Frank, Benjamin Gatling, Agnès Kefeli, Paolo Sartori, Wendell Schwab, Pavel Shabley, Shamil Shikhaliev, and William A. Wood.
Ron Sela, Ph.D. (2004), Indiana University, is Associate Professor in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, and Director of the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies. He is the author of The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in Central Asia (Cambridge, 2011).
Paolo Sartori, Ph.D. (2006), University of Rome ‘la Sapienza’, is Senior Research Associate at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, where he is also Chairman of the Committee for the Study of Islam in Central Eurasia (1552-2000s). He is the author of Visions of Justice: Sharia and Cultural Change in Russian Central Asia (Leiden, 2016).
Devin DeWeese, Ph.D. (1985), Indiana University, is Professor Emeritus of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. He is the author (with Ashirbek Muminov) of Islamization and Sacred Lineages in Central Asia, vol. I: Opening the Way for Islam: The Ishaq Bab Narrative, 14th-19th Centuries (2013).
Students and specialists in Islamic studies, Soviet and Russian studies, Central Eurasian studies, Central Asian studies, and the study of Islam in the Russian empire, Soviet Union, and post-Soviet world, plus a wider readership interested in problems of Islam in the post-Soviet and post-colonial worlds.