Religion

Mobilizing the Russian Nation: Patriotism and Citizenship in the First World War

The First World War had a devastating impact on the Russian state, yet relatively little is known about the ways in which ordinary Russians experienced and viewed this conflict. Melissa Kirschke Stockdale presents the first comprehensive study of the Great War's influence on Russian notions of national identity and citizenship.

Purifying the Land of the Pure: A History of Pakistan’s Religious Minorities

When Pakistan emerged as an independent state in 1947, it sought to provide a new homeland and safe harbor for South Asia's Muslims, the largest religious minority in the subcontinent at the time. Yet this project was not exclusive. Taking its name from Pakstan, an acronym composed of the key letters of its constituent regions-Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan-Pakistan at first welcomed all of its new citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Non-Muslims comprised 23 percent of the total population, and non-Sunnis comprised a quarter of the Muslim population.

Islam, Ritual, and the State in the Former Soviet Space

One of the many ways a state can control its populace is through expressions of culture. In Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia the governments assert their power by influencing how Islam is practiced in public spaces. This can include holidays, dress, marriage, and language. This panel examined state manipulation of Islamic rituals and symbols as a means for managing society in Tatarstan, the North Caucasus, and Turkmenistan.

Religion and the Search for Meaning in the People’s Republic

China’s rapid rise has challenged the international trading order and the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific, disorienting China’s neighbors as well as nations on the far side of the world. Amidst the global anxiety precipitated by the scale and scope of change in China, foreign analysts often overlook the impact of explosive development on the Chinese themselves.

Set in Stone: America’s Embrace of the Ten Commandments

Ever since the mid-19th century, modern America has made much of the Ten Commandments.  Although its citizens may not have been able to get the ancient dos and don’ts quite right, honoring them more in the breach than anything else, they insisted all the same on seeing them everywhere:  in stone, paper, cardboard, stained glass and Technicolor.  In her illustrated lecture, the distinguished cultural historian Jenna Weissman Joselit explores the nation’s fascination with the Biblical text.

Purifying the Land of the Pure: A History of Pakistan’s Religious Minorities

When Pakistan became an independent state in 1947, it sought to provide a new homeland and safe harbor for South Asia's Muslims, the largest religious minority in the subcontinent at the time. Pakistan at first welcomed all of its new citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Non-Muslims comprised 23 percent of the total population, and non-Sunni Muslims comprised a quarter of the Muslim population. Today, however, Pakistan’s non-Muslims comprise a mere 3 percent of the nation’s population, and in recent years non-Sunnis have been subjected to high levels of persecution and violence.

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