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Teaching About Religion in a Post-Soviet State: An Examination of Textbooks in Kazakhstan's Upper Secondary School System
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The search for new identity factors and shared values in the post-Soviet region has given rise to a process of reevaluation of the role of religion in society. Not least the Central Asian countries are struggling with these issues in their nation building processes. They share important parts of their history with other Muslim dominated nations, but the Soviet heritage sets them apart.

The focus of this study lies on the way religion as a general concept and Islam in particular are treated in four textbooks used in Kazakhstan’s school education. The contents of the textbooks are analyzed within a historical and societal context as well as a framework of contemporary secularity theory.

The results elucidate a contrast between the discourse on religion found in the textbooks and the official legal status of religion in Kazakhstan today, which is taken as an indication of an ongoing reevaluation of religion leading away from the staunch Soviet secularity and possibly towards a situation where religion is seen as a natural part of societal developments. At the same time, however, the normative effect of official discourse is a double-edged sword, which, while shaping ideas of what religion is and ought to be, may also undermine the credibility and authority of a religion too closely associated with political authority.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Religion in Central Asia, official ideology, secular, post-secular, passive secularity, assertive secularity, separationism, accomodationism
National Category
History of Religions
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119864OAI: diva2:849050
Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2015-09-08Bibliographically approved

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