David Montgomery – Becoming Muslim in an Islamic Land: Social Navigation and Religious Change in Kyrgyzstan

29 November, 2016 @ 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Central Asia is s a Muslim-majority region, though what that means for social and political life is contested. Discussing the argument of his recent book, Practicing Islam: Knowledge, Experience, and Social Navigation in Kyrgyzstan, Montgomery will focus on how the social context of knowledge acquisition influences religious and cultural practice. Seeing this process of “becoming” Muslim allows us an appreciation of how social navigation and religious change influence understandings of security and well-being that can be globally articulated though always remain locally contextualized.

David W. Montgomery is Director of Program Development for CEDAR-Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion; a Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Associate of the Central Asia Program at George Washington University; and Visiting Scholar at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. He has conducted long-term anthropological field research in Central Asia and the Balkans, where his work focuses on the transmission of religious and cultural knowledge; the expressions of everyday religious life; and the social aspects of religious change. He has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Emory University, and Boston University, and is the author of Practicing Islam: Knowledge, Experience, and Social Navigation in Kyrgyzstan; coauthor of Living with Difference: How to Build Community in a Divided World; and editor of Negotiating Well-being in Central Asia.

This event is part of the CERIA Initiative, generously funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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