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Muslim women’s freedom, or assumed lack thereof, has long been a Western obsession. Almost never do we ask, what does agency look like to Muslim women? Who or what do they think constrains them, and how do they challenge that? Focussing on the little-researched area of the Australian Muslim community, this book brings together for the first time diverse accounts from Australian Muslim researchers, leaders, and community workers to interrogate how Muslim women understand, experience, and fight for agency. Academic and activist, personal and political, this ground-breaking book features the people at the centre of the debate.

Contributors are Feda Abdo, Amira Aftab, Mahsheed Ansari, Fadi Baghdadi, Susan Carland, Tasneem Chopra, Mehreen Faruqi, Derya Iner, Balawyn Jones, Souha Korbatieh, Ghena Krayem, Mehal Krayem and Ayah Wehbe.
This second collective volume of the series The Presence of the Prophet explores the growing importance of the figure of the Prophet Muhammad for questions of authority and power in early modern and modern times.
The authors provide a rich collection of case studies on how Muhammad’s material, spiritual, and genealogical heritage has been claimed for the foundation of Muslim empires, revolutionary movements, the formation of modern nation states and ideologies, as well as for communal mobilization and social reform.
This novel comparative, and diachronic study, which is unique for its wide coverage of regional cases and perspectives, reveals diverse political representations of the Prophet in an increasingly globalised struggle over the control of his image between secularization and sacralization.

Contributors
Gianfranco Bria, Rachida Chih, Christoph Günther, Gottfried Hagen, Jan-Peter Hartung, David Jordan, Soraya Khodamoradi, Jamal Malik, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Alix Philippon, Martin Riexinger, Stefan Reichmuth, Dilek Sarmis, Renaud Soler, Jaafar Ben El Haj Soulami, Florian Zemmin.
The three-volume series titled The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam, is the first attempt to explore the dynamics of the representation of the Prophet Muhammad in the course of Muslim history until the present.
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In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a multi-ethnic village in Georgia, this paper shows how everyday peace is continuously reaffirmed in the tradition of inviting Muslim godparents to baptize Christian children. The Muslim godparents perform the roles of the chosen Christians while at the same time remaining Muslim. Hybrid local lay-religious practices around the ritual of christening are analyzed within a larger cultural semiotics that allows reciprocity of perspectives and, specifically in this context, enables the recruitment of non-Christians into the role of godparent. Religion serves as a ground for asserting peace.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

The paper explores the evolution of Georgian-Jewish identity in different political, ideological, and cultural contexts from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. It is focused on the beginning of the twentieth century when religious and national dimensions of Georgian-Jewish identity were developed as competing identity models. This paper addresses the impact of these identity models on contemporary Georgian-Jewish identity.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

This article is an attempt to describe, analyze, and evaluate the major players who contributed to the rise of transnational Shi’i activism in post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The article is based on a chronology of the most important events, and internet resources, personal contacts, observations, and interviews have been the primary source of this research.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author: Mariam Goshadze

Abstract

In the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread through the four corners of the world, Christian Orthodox churches were caught in the age-old altercation with science. Tensions condensed around a small material object—the communion spoon—and its potential to transmit the virus. The article examines the ensuing Eucharist-related debates between ‘liberal secularists’ and followers of the Orthodox Church of Georgia: namely, the former’s selective juxtaposition of abstract ‘faith’ against religious practice due to the latter’s alleged incongruity with modernity. The goal of this article is to illuminate the underlying discourse behind these accusations, which in turn draws on the notion of ‘modern religiosity’ informed by post-Reformation ideals.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

In 2014, local community members nailed a pig’s head to the door of a Muslim boarding house in Kobuleti, a small town in Adjara, to argue that ‘this is a Christian place.’ They expressed fears about the building owner, who was thought to be of Turkish origin. Enlargement of the boarding house was perceived as a possible Islamization of the town and an increase of transborder flows in the region. In this article, I examine the agency of the boarding houses in Adjara through human and non-human actors. At the same time, I look at the legal responses of the state and official structures for controlling informalities embedded in the boarding houses’ networks.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe