The Muslim community in Bulgarian Muslim villages share many of the characteristics of local Orthodox communities. It encompasses both explicitly religious people and more secular ones. The non-believers and the distant members get involved due to the symbolic sacrifices of their more religious relatives, while the virtuosi of religion get entangled and tempered in the small everyday practices of deference and respect offered by other villagers. After several centuries of cohabitation, Muslim and Orthodox Christian communities in Bulgaria share some important implicit notions about the ideal religious community.
After being long neglected by American anthropology, Bulgaria has provided ethnographic material for several recent monographs by Barbara Cellarius, Donna Buchanan, Gerald Creed, Mary Neuburger, and Yuson Jung. Kristen Ghodsee, in her book Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe, engages in dialogue with these authors and other European and American scholars on topics such as post-socialist changes in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, the introduction of new forms of Islam, and the renegotiation of gender roles. Her arguments are based on thorough and meticulous ethnographic work on Pomak (Bulgarian-speaking Muslims) urban communities in the central parts of the Rodopi Mountains