[PAST EVENT] Teaching the Tradition: The Muftiyat, the State & the Islamic Piety Movement in the Kyrgyz Republic

April 11, 2014
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Tucker Hall, 127A
350 James Blair Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Noor O'Neill Borbieva, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University-Purdue University, will present her research on a piety movement in the Kyrgyz Republic. Kyrgyzstan is one of five formerly Soviet republics in Central Asia. Since 1991, religion has returned to the public sphere in Kyrgyzstan. In the course of numerous visits to the country, Prof. Borbieva has collected a variety of texts, including ethnographic encounters, sermons, newspapers, pamphlets, tape recordings, and video recordings, that document these changes in public religious life. She will focus on texts produced by representatives of the Muftiyat, an institution which has close ties to the state and which controls all legal institutions of Islamic worship and education. The texts reveal not just the content of the Muftiyat's theology but also the pedagogical techniques it favors. Prof. Borbieva's analysis of the texts reveals the extremes of the Muftiyat's agenda: at the macro level, the organization aligns itself (and Islam) with state-sponsored nationalism; at the micro level, its technologies of power work for cultural change in the most intimate of ways by altering individual subjectivities.

Sponsored by the Program in Asian and Middle Easter Studies.