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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.
This book solves the long-standing mystery of a Christian monastery near Samarkand, seen and described by two Arab travellers in the tenth century. Despite several attempts made since the 1890s, its precise location had never been established. The first part covers the quest, the find, and the archaeological excavations’ results. Then the author proceeds to search for a mediaeval Christian enclave near modern Tashkent, which appears to have been washed away by a river that changed its course over centuries.
Apart from the Christians, the book also touches upon the Manichaeans, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and other Sogdians, their languages, faiths, and material remnants.
The Memoirs of ’Abd al-Majid al-Qadiri
Volume Editors: Alfrid Bustanov and Vener Usmanov
The world as seen by a Qur’an specialist in late imperial and early Soviet Russia. Our book tells a dramatic story of ’Abd al-Majid al-Qadiri, a Muslim individual born in the Kazakh lands and brought up in the Sufi environment of the South Urals, who memorized the entire Qur’an at the Mosque of the Prophet. In Russia he travelled widely, performing the Qur'an recitations. The Stalinist terror was merciless to him: in total, he spent fifteen years of his life in labour camps in Solovki, in the North, and Tashkent, in the south. At the end of his life, al-Qadiri wrote the fascinating memoirs that we analysed and translated in this book for the first time. Al-Qadiri’s life account allows us to look at the history of Islam in Russia from a new angle. His lively language provides access to everyday concerns of Russia’s Muslims, their personal interactions, their emotions, and the material world that surrounded them. Al-Qadiri’s book is a book of memory, full of personal drama and hope.
Author: Tsung-i Jao
Editor / Translator: David J. Lebovitz
Editors / Translators: Laura Hostetler and Xuemei Wu
Commissioned by the Qianlong emperor in 1751, the Qing Imperial Illustrations of Tributary Peoples (Huang Qing zhigong tu 皇清職貢圖), is a captivating work of art and ideological statement of universal rule. Best understood as a cultural cartography of empire, the captivating artwork paired with ethnographic texts helps us to understand the complexity of Chinese diplomatic relations as well the ideological force behind them which was rooted in both dynastic history and the specifics of Qing rule.
Author: Xinjiang Rong
Editor / Translator: Sally K Church. et al.
Volume Editors: Sally K Church and Imre Galambos
This first and only English translation of Rong Xinjiang’s The Silk Road and Cultural Exchanges Between East and West is a collection of 28 papers on the history of the Silk Road and the interactions among the peoples and cultures of East and Central Asia, including the so-called Western Regions in modern-day Xinjiang. Each paper is a masterly study that combines information obtained from historical records with excavated materials, such as manuscripts, inscriptions and artefacts. The new materials primarily come from north-western China, including sites in the regions of Dunhuang, Turfan, Kucha, and Khotan. The book contains a wealth of original insights into nearly every aspect of the complex history of this region.
Practices and Rituals, Visual and Material Transfer
Volume Editors: Yukiyo Kasai and Henrik H. Sørensen
The ERC-funded research project BuddhistRoad aims to create a new framework to enable understanding of the complexities in the dynamics of cultural encounter and religious transfer in pre-modern Eastern Central Asia. Buddhism was one major factor in this exchange: for the first time the multi-layered relationships between the trans-regional Buddhist traditions (Chinese, Indian, Tibetan) and those based on local Buddhist cultures (Khotanese, Uyghur, Tangut) will be explored in a systematic way. The second volume Buddhism in Central Asia II—Practice and Rituals, Visual and Materials Transfer based on the mid-project conference held on September 16th–18th, 2019, at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) focuses on two of the six thematic topics addressed by the project, namely on “practices and rituals”, exploring material culture in religious context such as mandalas and talismans, as well as “visual and material transfer”, including shared iconographies and the spread of ‘Khotanese’ themes.
In: Iran and the Caucasus