Cultural anthropology

Political and economic changes and their impact on religious practices in Gorno-Badakhshan (Tajikistan).

Gefördert von DAAD-UCA (German Academic Exchange Service & University of Central Asia)

 

1. Arbeitstitel: Political and economic changes and their impact on religious practices in Gorno-Badakhshan (Tajikistan).

 

2. Projektbetreuer: Prof. Dr. Roland Hardenberg

 

3. Laufzeit: 2009-2013

 

4. Projektbeschreibung: This project focuses on the change and invention of religious traditions in Gorno-Badakhshan (Tajikistan). Local religious practices were shaped and altered considerably in the last century, first by the Soviet state and its hostile policy towards religious performances, than during the turbulent years of independence and the civil war that followed, and more recently due to the government’s regulations of private ceremonies as well as by the appearance of global religious organisations such as the Aga Khan institution. One the one hand, many religious ceremonies and rituals disappeared or changed their form and content, on the other hand new religious practices and rituals emerged and became central elements of local culture. My study looks at the interrelation between local religious traditions and socio-economic as well as political factors in Gorno-Badakhshan from an ethnographic as well as historical perspective. It particularly deals with the question how local rituals were and are interpreted by different actors such as local community members, Soviet party leaders, State officials, Aga Khan representatives and delegates of international development agencies. The project includes long-term fieldwork among Shiite and Sunnite people of the Darwaz district of Gorno- Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (Tajikistan).