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Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics
Series Editors: Martyn Housden and Gustavs Strenga
Does it make sense to refer to the social and political existence of the Baltic countries as to being between civilizations of East and West, or as being on the boundary of two worlds? What are the most characteristic features of modern moral imagination? How does it manifest itself in the politics and cultures of the Baltic countries? These will be the main foci of the book series intended and launched as a critical examination of identity, politics, and culture in the Baltic countries. We are not going to confine this series to Soviet and post-Communist studies. By offering a wide scope of the social science and humanities disciplines, we would like to encourage intercultural dialogue and also to pursue interdisciplinary research in the field of Baltic studies.

Until Volume 43, the series was published by Brill | Rodopi, click here.
Schöningh, Fink and mentis Religious Studies, Theology and Philosophy E-Books Online, Collection 2021 is the electronic version of the book publication program of Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, Wilhelm Fink Verlag and mentis Verlag in the field of Religious Studies, Theology and Philosophy from 2021.

Coverage:
Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy, Christianity, History of Religion, Religion & Society, Missionary Studies
Author: Alisher Latypov

Abstract

In this paper I trace sanitation, education, and cultural enlightenment practices in early Soviet Tajikistan, and reassess the role of red teahouses in addressing drug use and other health issues in the country. I examine the assertions of Soviet historians and physicians by drawing on extensive archival records from Russia and Tajikistan and local newspapers published in Tajikistan in the 1930s, and in doing so accentuate an alternative account that illustrates the limits of Soviet undertakings and the appalling gaps between the aspirations of Soviet leaders and reality. Red teahouses failed both to focus on health challenges and to tackle the use of narcotic intoxicants in early Soviet Tajikistan. The majority of these new Soviet facilities functioned as commercial socio-gastronomic entities until the late 1930s and beyond, rather than spreading health propaganda and engaging in the cultural construction and enlightenment of the Tajik people.

In: Central Asian Affairs
Authors: Edward Lemon and Omid Rahimi

The armed rebellion of Deputy Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda in September 2015 was a critical moment in the post-war history of Tajikistan. The rebellion, which the government blamed on the Islamic Renaissance Party, formed the justification for the Supreme Court to classify the party as a terrorist organization and arrest its leadership. While the government framed the events as a coup attempt, supported by the IRPT, the narrative had inconsistencies and Nazarzoda had been loyal to the state since the end of the civil war. Using the ideas of Carl Schmitt, who argued that sovereignty lies in the ability of a strong executive to monopolize decision-making, define when there is an emergency, and how to resolve it. In this case, president Rahmon used the the sense of emergency and threat created by the “coup” attempt to dismantle the IRPT and then have himself legally declared “Leader of the Nation.”

In: Central Asian Affairs

Abstract

Kyrgyzstan has experienced a rapid and diverse expansion of religious educational offerings in the past two decades and presents a fascinating regional case study of the development of Islamic education. Based on a rich ethnographic study, this article explores recently developed processes by which madrasa-based knowledge is established and transmitted. In revealing these processes, the article draws attention to political struggles for control over the transmission of religious knowledge between state and non-state actors on the one hand, and religious actors on the other. It further delves into the material and spiritual world of madrasas as perceived by students motivated to gain education and their families. In the final section, it uncovers how different madrasas use religious education, under the varied concept of ‘service to community’, to establish and maintain networks of graduates, which are necessary to the further rooting of Islamic fellowships into society, politics and the economy.

In: Central Asian Affairs
In: Central Asian Affairs

Internationalization transformed the way Higher Education (HE) is provided. Used correctly, internationalization can bring a useful exchange of services and resources into a country’s HE sector. Although there is a growing body of research on HE internationalization broadly, current scholarship overlooks the correlation of excessive reliance on opening of foreign university branches as a way to internationalize the HE sector and the development of the local HE system. This research thus provides the first insights into how the internationalization of HE may not necessarily solve a developing country’s problems in the local HE sector. Using the case of Uzbekistan, it argues that, in the absence of systematic reforms in the local HE system, HE reform that over-relies on the imported internationalization in the form of foreign university branches is not sustainable. Such “franchise” or “imported” internationalization does not contribute to the development of local HE system.

In: Central Asian Affairs
Author: Denis Sokolov

In the 2000s, Al-Qaeda, represented by the Caucasus Emirate, took over the first Chechen resistance, as well as local Islamist armed groups in Dagestan and other republics of the North Caucasus. However, a decade later, the Islamic State won the competition with Al-Qaeda, by including the involvement of women in its project. Hundreds of Russian-speaking Muslim women followed men to live by the rules of Islam. Some joined their husbands or children. Others travelled to the Islamic State in pursuit of love and romance with future husbands they had met on the internet. Based on exclusive interviews done with women detained in the Roj detention camp in the Kurdish territories in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border, this article analyzes some of the trajectories that has pushed young North Caucasian women to the Syrian war theater in the name of love.

In: Central Asian Affairs