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.
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.
AT2006 Anthropological Approaches to Religion
AT4517 Morality and Belief in Islam
AT5008 Religion, Power and Belief
AT5512 Religion and the Secular
MSc in Anthropology of Religion programme coordinator
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Islam in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan: The Morality of Experience (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2011).
With Madeleine Reeves and Judith Beyer Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia: Performing Politics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2014)
Guest editor: Post-Soviet Islam: An Anthropological Perspective, Central Asian Survey 25(3) 2006
Healing with spirits and the formation of Muslim selfhood in post-Soviet Uzbekistan, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 12(2) 2006 : 377-393.
Post Soviet Islam: An Anthropological Perspective. Introduction, Central Asian Survey, Special issue 25(3) 2006 : 219-233.
Market, State and Community in Uzbekistan: reworking the concept of the informal economy, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Working paper, No. 59 2003
Spheres of communal participation: placing the state within local modes of interaction in rural Uzbekistan, Central Asian Survey, 21(1) 2002 : 55-70
Beyond Islam: Tradition and the intelligibility of Experience, in Magnus Marsden and Konstantinos Retsikas (eds) Articulating Islam: Anthropological Approaches to Muslim Worlds (Heidelberg: Springer, 2013) 101-118
Morality, self and power: the idea of the mahalla in Uzbekistan, in Monica Heintz (ed.) The Anthropology of Moralities (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009) 102-117
Central Asia, in Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer (eds.) Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology second edition (London: Routledge, 2009)
I'm not a Wahhabi: State power and Muslim Orthodoxy in Uzbekistan, in Chris Hann (ed), The Postsocialist Religious Question: Faith and Power in Central Asia and East-Central Europe (Munich: Lit Verlag, 2006), 99-124
Etnichnost, gosudarstvennaya ideologiya i ponyatie "obshina" v Uzbekistanye', in S.Abashin V.Bushkov (ed), Ferganskaya dolina: Etnichnost, Etnicheskie protsessy, Etnicheskie konflikty (Moscow: Nauka, 2004), 145-163