Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus since the Fall of the Soviet Union
London : Hurst Publishers
Comparative Politics and International Studies Series
Central Asia, Caucasus, islam, history, religion
With the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, a major turning point in all former Soviet republics, Central Asian and Caucasian countries began to reflect on their history and identities. As a consequence of their opening up to the global exchange of ideas, various strains of Islam and trends in Islamic thought have nourished the Islamic revival that had already started in the context of glasnost and perestroika—from Turkey, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, and from the Indian subcontinent; the four regions with strong ties to Central Asian and Caucasian Islam in the years before Soviet occupation. Bayram Balci seeks to analyse how these new Islamic influences have reached local societies and how they have interacted with pre-existing religious belief and practice. Combining exceptional erudition with rare first-hand research, Balci’s book provides a sophisticated account of both the internal dynamics and external influences in the evolution of Islam in the region.