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Aziza Shanazarova’s “Female Religiosity in Central Asia” Forthcoming from Cambridge UP
March 27, 2024

Aziza Shanazarova (Religion) is the author of “Female Religiosity in Central Asia: Sufi Leaders in the Persianate World,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in April 2024.

From the Pulblisher:

Through revealing the fascinating story of the Sufi master Aghā-yi Buzurg and her path to becoming the ‘Great Lady’ in sixteenth-century Bukhara, Aziza Shanazarova invites readers into the little-known world of female religious authority in early modern Islamic Central Asia, revealing a far more multifaceted gender history than previously supposed. Pointing towards new ways of mapping female religious authority onto the landscapes of early modern Muslim narratives, this book serves as an intervention into the debate on the history of women and religion that views gender as a historical phenomenon and construct, challenging narratives of the relationship between gender and age in Islamic discourse of the period. Shanazarova draws on previously unknown primary sources to bring attention to a rich world of female religiosity involving communal leadership, competition for spiritual superiority, and negotiation with the political elite that transforms our understanding of women’s history in early modern Central Asia.