Front Cover

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Half Title, Series Editor, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Map, Quotations

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

The problem in talking about religion is that there are so many abstractions associated with it that people, in reality, rarely talk about religion, even when the topic is religion. Evoking religion in politics is not a theological discourse on religion but something quite different, even in Islam, where politics is not viewed as separate from religion. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

I make the case throughout this book that it is largely through doing that we come to knowing. In my years of working on this project, it has also become abundantly clear that it is the network of relations that allows us to socially navigate our doing in meaningful ways; even solitude is not managed alone. ...

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Note on Transliteration and Spelling of Personal and Geographical Names

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pp. xix-xx

This work uses the standard version of the Library of Congress system for transliterating Russian names and works cited. Exceptions to this rule are personal and geographical names that have accepted English spellings; for example, Leo Tolstoy instead of Lev Tolstoi. ...

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Introduction. An Anthropology of Knowledge and Life “in the Field”

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pp. 3-19

Religion is what it does. What it does, however, is contentious terrain. Contentious not only because it is the actual doing, the expression in action of something inward and at times collective, that challenges community, but also because what religion does involves a great deal of interpretive ambiguity that eludes neat categorization. ...

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Chapter 1. Learning Everyday (Islam)

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pp. 20-51

In a sense, we live in stories. Stories make the abstract more tangible by giving it a face that is both generalizable and unique. Stories are part of our everyday existence; by amusing, intriguing, enlightening, and saddening us they convey a richness of information about the story’s subject as well as the storyteller. ...

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Chapter 2. “Muslim by Birth, Atheist by Belief”: The Social Organization of Knowledge

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pp. 52-78

While it seems paradoxical in nature, many aspects of everyday life are filled with contradictions that are not perceived as contradictions by the actor. Tolkun, Azarmat, and Murat all do things that they fault others for doing—Tolkun privately discounting the efficacy of the spirits to repair certain fractures in life yet admonishing her neighbors for not having enough trust in the spirit world; ...

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Chapter 3. “Our Ancestors Also Live Here”: The Corpus of Knowledge

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pp. 79-104

The social organization of knowledge both influences and is influenced by how people live. The totality of what people know constitutes the corpus of their knowledge and is informed within the social organization of their experience. At the heart of this corpus of knowledge lie struggles with the issues of certainty and ambiguity, as well as authority and rationality. ...

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Chapter 4. “Listen and Watch!”: The Medium of Knowledge

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pp. 105-134

On any given day, one can see a Kyrgyz or an Uzbek exhibiting a common gesture: with hands cupped together at chest level and open to the sky, he says “Omen” and in a fluid movement raises his hands to brush them over his face in a downward motion.1 For some, the gesture is cultural; for others, it is religious. ...

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Chapter 5. Framing Politics, Morality, and a Practice of Understanding

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pp. 135-154

For all of my interlocutors, meaning is created in a lived space that leads them to make distinctions about knowing the world, of having a worldview that guides them in interacting with the world. But despite the widespread use of the idea, “knowledge” is not a straightforward concept of study; ...

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Conclusion. Social Navigation as Knowing Enacted/in Action

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pp. 155-170

The process by which Islam emerges as a category for analyzing the world is a socially navigated endeavor framed locally, vis-à-vis the social organization, corpus, and medium of knowledge transmission, and interpreted politically and morally as the elucidation of a meaningful—or at least manageable—life. ...

Appendix A. Overview of Interlocutors

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pp. 171-175

Appendix B. Methodology and Description of the Field

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pp. 176-180

Notes

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pp. 181-196

Bibliography

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pp. 197-216

Index

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pp. 217-219