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Islam And Religious Education In Bulgaria: Local Tradition Vis-à-vis Global Change

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Chapter Summary

In Southeast Europe, as in other post-communist regions, the restoration of civil and religious freedoms has often been accompanied by the rediscovery of religious roots. Does traditional Islamic education continue to influence the social life of the contemporary Muslim community in Bulgaria, or has it rather a "vanishing role", as Dale F. Eickelman describes it in his analysis of madrasas in Morocco? How do the increasingly rapid global changes affect local traditions of Islamic education? These issues pose many challenges, involving multi-directional undercurrents, for the social sciences. The adoption of new policies that embrace and nurture the importance of the religious freedom of all communities in Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe, including the region's significant Muslim populations, can, on the basis of long past experience, offer positive models of peaceful and prosperous co-existence for the rest of Europe too.

Keywords: Bulgaria; Dale F . Eickelman; Europe; Islamic education; Muslim



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