Research report 2005 - Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Religion and culture in Central Asia: Soviet legacies and new challenges
Sozialistisches und Postsozialistisches Eurasien (Prof. Dr. Christopher Hann)
MPI für ethnologische Forschung, Halle/Saale
SummaryAfter decades of Soviet militant secularism religion re-emerges in the public. It is often assumed that religious revival in Central Asia was an effect of the spiritual or ideological vacuum that accompanied the Soviet collapse. Research at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology suggests that the thriving of “religious nationalism” in the 1990s presented in many ways a continuation of Soviet ideas. However, the failures of transition made these “national” religions increasingly vulnerable to religious groups that defined themselves along supranational lines. The successes of the latter provide new challenges to local ideas about the relation between religion and culture.