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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.
A Critical Edition of Ḥāfiẓ-i Baṣīr’s Maẓhar al-ʿAjāʾib
The Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib is the devotional work written to expound upon the teachings of Aghā-yi Buzurg, a female religious master active in the early 16th century in Bukhara. The work was produced in 16th century Central Asia, when the region underwent major socio-economic and religio-political changes in the aftermath of the downfall of the Timurid dynasty and the establishment of the Shibanid dynasty in Mavarannahr and the Safavid dynasty in Iran.
In its portrayal of Aghā-yi Buzurg, the Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib represents a tradition that maintained an egalitarian conception of gender in the spiritual equality of women and men, attesting to the presence of multiple voices in Muslim discourse and challenging conventional ways of thinking about gender history in early modern Central Asia.
Author: Etan Kohlberg
Editor: Amin Ehteshami
In Praise of the Few: Studies in Shiʿi Thought and History is a selection of Etan Kohlberg’s research on Shiʿi Islam over a period of fifty years. It includes previously published articles, revised dissertation chapters, and a full bibliography of the author’s work. Divided into two parts, the collection begins with chapters from Kohlberg’s Oxford doctoral dissertation (1971) and related articles that investigate Sunni and Shiʿi views on the Prophet’s Companions and debates concerning the extent of their authority as sources of religious knowledge. Part Two traces the doctrinal and historical developments pertaining to various dimensions of Imāmī Shiʿi intellectual tradition such as theology, hadith, law, jurisprudence, and exegesis.
Sufism, Education, and the Paradox of Islamic Prestige
Author: Allen J. Frank
In Bukhara and the Muslims of Russia Allen Frank examines the relationship of Tatars and Bashkirs with the city of Bukhara during the Russian Imperial era. For Muslims in Russia Bukhara’s prestige was manifested in genealogies, fashion, and in the elevated legal status of Bukharan communities in Russia. The historical relationship of Russia’s Muslim communities with Bukhara was founded above all on Bukhara’s reputation as a holy city of Islam, an abode of great Sufis, and a center of Islamic scholarship. The emergence of Islamic reformism critiquing Bukhara’s sacred status, led by Tatar scholars who were trained in Bukhara, created a number of paradoxes. The symbol of Bukhara became an important feature in theological and political debates among Russia’s Muslims.