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'Culture' as a tool and an obstacle: missionary encounters in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan

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The relatively large number of converts from Islam to evangelical Christianity in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan is exceptional in the Muslim world and has challenged local confidence that Islam is an inseparable element of Kyrgyz nationality. I argue that part of the missionary success stems from unexpected synergies between communist cultural legacies and new evangelical approaches. Both communists and evangelicals attempted to advance their ideals by disconnecting religion and culture. But although these efforts delivered tangible results, they also had the (unintended) consequence of folklorizing and objectifying 'culture', thereby partly re-inscribing the ethnic boundaries that they intended to overcome.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28058/

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