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|When the Divine takes place: Experiences of the Divine in Bukhara and Bishkek
|Louw, Maria Elisabeth
|Dr. Louw talked about the Divine experiences of people in Central Asia based on her fieldwork in Bukhara held for her PhD project, as well as on her ongoing research in Bishkek. She presented the audience with the main argument that most people in Central Asia do not primarily seem interested in Islam as an orthodox worldview. Rather what they articulate in everyday Islam is a struggle for better existence, and their practices and understanding of Islam are grounded in their everyday lives, immediate social existence and practical experiences. While most of what was written about Islam in post Soviet Central Asia has focused on radical Islamic movements and macro level of government policies towards Islam, Dr. Louw through her research tries to investigate what it means for people of Central Asia to be Muslims, which concerns they articulate in their engagement with the religion and the ways in which Islam is lived and experienced in practice. Gaining an understanding of how Islam is practiced and lived “on the ground”, in the lecturer’s view, is essential for finding answers to such big questions as the issue of the future prospects for radical Islam in the region.
|Dr. Louw is a postdoctoral fellow at the Anthropology and Ethnography Department of Arhus University in Denmark and currently she is a visiting research fellow at AUCA, Bishkek.
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