Russian Civilisation and Islam

Arun Mohanty

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The discourse on Russia’s evolution as a nation and the formation of its civilisation is usually dominated by the debate about Russia’s integration with Europe and Christianity. The role of Islam in the evolution of the Russian civilisation , formation of its world view, its mindset and its culture have not received adequate attention and seem to be often ignored by scholars, with the exception of the Eurasian school of thoughts, led by one of its tallest proponents, Lev Gumilev .

Islam has contributed significantly to shaping Russian history, civilization and guiding its foreign as well as domestic policies. An integral part of Russian civilisation, Islam is an important factor in defining Russian identity, particularly in the light of the evolution of its Eurasian identity. And its identity issue in return has tremendously influenced Russia’s socio-economic development strategy as well as foreign policy over centuries.

The author, in the current volume, has made an attempt to analyse the revival of Islam and its current status in post-Soviet Russia and to evaluate the impact of Islamic factor on the formulation of Russian internal and external policies— while placing them in a proper historical context. Efforts have been made to determine the directions in which Russian society and polity would develop and to assess the position of Muslims within the scenario of this evolving Russian society .

The book surveys the issues of ethno-religious and territorial composition of Muslims in Russia, their role in the socio-political and spiritual development of the nation, the peaceful co-existence of Islam and Orthodox Christianity in the country and its impact on maintaining stability and harmony in the society.

Arun Mohanty Arun Mohanty, who holds a Ph.D degree in economics, is a Professor of Russian and Central Asian Studies at the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New -Delhi. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Russian Academy of Social Sciences named after Peter the Great and the Congress of Political Scientists of Russia. His primary research interests include Russian economic transformation, foreign and security policies of Russia, developments in Central Asia and Indo-Russian bilateral relations. A recipient of Russia’s prestigious Pushkin State Award, Mohanty is the director of Delhi-based Eurasian Foundation and Chief Editor of the research journal “Eurasian Report”. He has taught at various Russian universities and is closely associated with leading think tanks of Moscow. Mohanty, a member of the International Coordination Committee of the Vienna-based World Public Forum on Dialogue of Civilisations, has authored 10 books and contributed over a hundred articles to journals and edited volumes on developments in Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).




1. History and Demography of Muslims in Russia
2. Revival of Islam in post-Soviet Russia
3. Muslim Identity and Islamic Revival
4. State and Islam
5. Muslim Integration with Russian Society
6. Islam and Russian Foreign Policy
7. Conclusion



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