Tuesday, April 11, 12:00, Kaminskiene Hall
Prof. Dr. Egdunas Račius
“Islam in Eastern Europe: (Eastern) European Islam?”
The presence of Muslims in Eastern Europe is not a novelty. In fact, the first Muslims came to and settled on the fringes of Eastern Europe as early as the mid-7th century. Since then the geography of their inhabited territories expanded to include not only the south-eastern corner and the far east end of the Old Continent, but also such central and northern parts as Poland, Belarus and the Baltic States. With time, Eastern Europe’s Muslims came to practice forms of Islamic religiosity that are visibly distinct from those practiced in the Middle East and beyond. However, lately, the forms of Islamic religiosity practiced in the Middle East, and particularly those of a revivalist nature, have made serious inroads into the Eastern European Muslim communities. In view of these tendencies, it may be legitimately asked if, and if so, to what extent, Islam in Eastern Europe may be seen as “European” Islam.
Egdūnas Račius (MA in Near Eastern Studies, New York University, 1999; PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Helsinki, 2004) is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at the Department of Area Studies of Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania). He is the Reviews Editor of the Journal of Muslims in Europe and a co-editor of the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe (both by Brill). His research area encompasses Eastern European Muslim communities.