Tradition and Innovation in Islam: Experience of a Case Study

Lily Sagitova


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Muslim revival in post-Soviet Russia is characterized by two trends: besides of traditional Islam guided by imams graduated from Soviet educational institutions there appeared young imams who educated in Islamic universities in Saudi Arabia , UAE, Egypt. The coexistence of the two traditions in a socio-cultural environment leads sometimes to conflicts engendered by the divergence between religious norms and ritual canons. This collision is clearly manifested in a relatively small and homogeneous ethnoconfessional loci. One of such cases is examined in this paper on the basis of a case study carried out in the Tatar village of Elyuzan in Penza province in 2006-2009. The investigation allowed to identify factors that influence the development of the local Islamic tradition and new globalized forms of Islam in Muslim village communities. The village history and its inhabitants’ narratives allow us to make the assumption that the evolution of Islam is the primary role played by the family in the generational reproduction of practices , and in the post-Soviet  religious “revival”.


Islamic education, transmission of knowledge, traditional Islam, “new” Islam, muslim communities in the countryside, conflict between generations


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