CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDY SOFIA

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From the Middle East to the Balkans: Salafism and the Muslim Quest for Certainty

The project proposes a new approach to Salafism as a complex transnational Islamic movement that evokes shared normative religious texts and paradigmatic historical antecedents in specific theological, legal and political terms by foregrounding the role of religious certainty. The research compares entangled Muslim groups in the Middle East and the Balkans focusing on Salafism vis-à-vis strict Hanafism in interrelated contemporary and historical contexts included in provinces of the former Ottoman Empire. The suggested linking between history and anthropology draws on a wide range of evidence, published and unpublished sources in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, and Slavic languages.

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