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Entwinements of Islam and Modernity in Central Asia

A lecture by John Schoeberlein, Harvard University

Thursday, April 7, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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UCLA Program on Central Asia
Religions of the Silk Road  Lecture Series

Entwinements of Islam and Modernity in Central Asia

Podcast now available here

This talk will examine the ways that Islam has come into interaction with modernity.  It will take the long view, with some attention to the tsarist and early Soviet periods, but most attention to the late Soviet period and the time since independence.  It will look at the ideas and social processes that affect change in Islam which emanate from discourses within Islam, from the changing social environment, and from the Soviet and post-Soviet states with their political agendas regarding Islam. 

Religions of the Silk Road: Transformation and Transmission in the Heart of Asia, is a lecture series co-sponsored by the UCLA Central Asia Initiative and the Center for the Study of Religion

Before the rise of the maritime empires of Europe, the ancient trade routes of Central Asia served as one the world’s most vital thoroughfares of religious traffic. From the goddesses of prehistoric Eurasia through the Iranian religions of Zoroaster and Mani, to the Buddhism transferred from India and the Judaism, Christianity and eventually Islam carried in from the Mediterranean west, almost all of the major religions of Asia were imported into the oasis towns that lined the route between Persia and China. Yet if the monks, books and relics who moved along the ‘silk road’ point to a history of religious transmission both into and through Central Asia, important questions remain about what happened to these religious forms in their long periods in transit. Placing the question of transformation alongside that of transmission, the current series of talks excavates the neglected history of Central Asia’s own contributions to the religions of the old world.


Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Asia Pacific Center, Center for the Study of Religion