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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53106
Doc. No:TL23060
Call number:‭3259865‬
Main Entry:David William Montgomery
Title & Author:The transmission of religious and cultural knowledge and potentiality in practice: An anthropology of social navigation in the Kyrgyz RepublicDavid William Montgomery
College:Boston University
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:334
Abstract:Variation (and change) in religious practice in the Kyrgyz Republic ranges from heterodox to orthodox; from venerating ancestors at sacred sites as part of traditional Islamic worship to reading namaz five times a day at mosque in partial fulfillment of an Islamic understanding oriented toward Mecca. Using an anthropology of knowledge, this variation can be understood in relation to social organization that accommodates to geography, economy, and political structure; medium that preferences creativeness of oral storytelling or a more rigid textual (Qur'an centered) interpretation articulated as orthopraxy; and, what I term, "corpus of knowledge" that draws upon experiences in schooling, profession, and history. Between 2004 and 2005 I conducted ten months of multisited research with participant-guided interviews, field observations, and a 189-question survey of religious and cultural practice administered to 866 individuals in Naryn and Osh Oblasts of Kyrgyzstan. Focusing on the phenomenological understanding of everyday religious life, I observed how major life events, and those of the everyday, became instances in an individual's social navigation carried out in relation to the knowledge of their experience. Furthermore, the response of action was carried out within the limitations or opportunities of knowledge as social organization—restrictions/potentialities of the state; limits/opportunities of economies; differences between wealth and poverty; and a social environment that includes the conventions of religion—corpus—which varied in depth but was understood within a handful of frames: historical, locational, and social; professional, educational, and religious—and medium—which was oral, textual, and experiential and derived from being both participant and observer. Specific examples in the dissertation show how a social environment in the mountains that favors pastoralism, the oral recitation of tradition, and ritual knowledge tied to sacred sites can result in a greater openness to religious ambiguity and toleration of difference than does authority that is seen as unchanging, located in a text, and legitimated in the collectivity of the global, rather than the local, ummah. This not only illustrates the degree of religious variation but also shows how the mechanisms of religious change and conversion can be understood as a generative, inductive, and deductive process.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Cultural knowledge; Islam; Kyrgyz Republic; Potentiality; Religious knowledge; Social navigation; Religion; Cultural anthropology; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:A. B. Seligman
Added Entry:Boston University