Dr Johan Rasanayagam

Dr Johan Rasanayagam

Senior Lecturer


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272191
The University of Aberdeen Room G18 Edward Wright Building University of Aberdeen Aberdeen AB24 3QY


Johan Rasanayagam joined the department in 2005. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Uzbekistan, Central Asia where his doctoral dissertation examined the themes of the state and citizenship. More recently, he has conducted research on Islam in Central Asia, specifically on the processes of moral reasoning through which individuals come to an understanding of what it means to be a good Muslim. He is currently developing research interests in the category of religion and the secular in Muslim contexts.


Research Interests

Uzbekistan and Central Asia, postsocialist societies, the anthropology of Islam, morality and subjectivity, healing practices and spirit possession, religion and the secular, politics and the state.


Teaching Responsibilities

AT1502 Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity

AT3534 Religion, Power and Belief

AT4517 Morality and Belief in Islam




Currently viewing:

Page 1 of 3 Results 1 to 10 of 25

  • Rasanayagam, J 2018, 'Anthropology in conversation with an Islamic tradition: Emmanuel Levinas and the practice of critique', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 90-106. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12753
  • Rasanayagam, J 2018, 'Fragile conviction: changing ideological landscapes in urban Kyrgyzstan, by Mathijs Pelkmans, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2017, xvi + 213 pp., US$89.95 (hbk),ISBN: 978-1-5017-0513-7', Central Asian Survey, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 491-493. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2018.1445594
  • Rasanayagam, MJ 2018, Mahalla: state and community. in D Montgomery (ed.), Central Asia in Context: A Thematic Introduction to the Region. University of Pittsburgh Press.
  • Rasanayagam, MJ 2017, Counter-extremism, secularism and the category of religion in the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan: should we be studying Islam at all? in M Laruelle (ed.), Constructing the Uzbek State: Narratives of Post-Soviet Years . Lexington Books.
  • Kamp, M, Zanca, R, Shahrani, N, Biard, A & Rasanayagam, J 2015, 'Author-critic forum' Central Asian Survey, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 125-139. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2014.995923
  • Reeves, M, Rasanayagam, J & Beyer, J (eds) 2014, Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia: Performing Politics. Indiana University Press, Indiana.
  • Rasanayagam, J, Beyer, J & Reeves, M 2014, Introduction: Performances, Possibilities, and Practices of the Political in Central Asia. in M Reeves, R Johan & J Beyer (eds), Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia: Performing Politics. Indiana University Press, pp. 1-26. <> [Online] DOI: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/aberdeenuniv/detail.action?docID=10818062
  • Rasanayagam, J 2014, 'The Politics of Culture and the Space for Islam: Soviet and Post-Soviet Imaginaries in Uzbekistan', Central Asian Survey, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 1-14. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2014.882619
  • Rasanayagam, J 2013, Beyond Islam: Tradition and the Intelligibility of Experience. in M Marsden & K Retsikas (eds), Articulating Islam: Anthropological Approaches to Muslim Worlds . Muslims in Global Sciences, vol. 6, Springer , Dordrecht, pp. 101-118. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4267-3
  • Rasanayagam, J 2011, 'Conversion after socialism: disruptions, modernisms and technologies of faith in the Former Soviet Union', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 427-428. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9655.2011.01698_27.x
Show 10 | 25 | 50 | 100 results per page