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Adjusting to Postnormal Times: Islam as a Spiritual, Cultural, Social, and Political Phenomenon in Central Asia and Beyond 
Yelena Muzykina (Center for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies)
Akmaljon Abdullayev (University of world economy and diplomacy)
Zilya Khabibullina (R.G. Kuzeev Institute for Ethnological Studies of the Ufa Federal Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
Natalya Seitakhmetova
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Nurlykhan Aljanova (Nazarbayev University Research Centre for Entrepreneurship)
Emina Yessekeyeva (Radboud University)
White Hall
Sunday 9 June, -
Time zone: Asia/Almaty


The world is increasingly and constantly changing, making it hard to keep up. Normal is no longer capable of upholding the promise of tomorrow’s certainty. These are postnormal times (PNT). Our thematic discussion aims to introduce this new topic to the academic community of the Central Eurasian region, focusing on a specific cultural aspect of the region, namely Islam.

In the storm of ignorance and uncertainty, Islamic tradition has to learn to navigate PNT. Should Islam adapt to the challenges, or can it contribute as well? To answer this question, we want to discuss such topics as

- Islam and cyberspace, exploring the transformation of believers’ lives in the era of digital technologies;

- Islamic education and how it helps form new Muslim identity, conscience, and values in PNT,

- Islam and utilization of the Internet to promote a virtual discourse, taking Uzbekistan as an example, and

- religious themes in the contemporary art of Kazakhstan, how postnormal times transform them, bring new meanings, and change conventional senses.

This variety of themes can help the audience gain new perspectives on current trends and emerging issues Muslims face. It will also bring new food for thought and discussion, thus helping to step out of the conventional framework in which Islam is typically discussed.

Understanding that the PNT theory is a new topic for many scholars, we aim to give its brief but concise introduction, including the role and place of religion and its transformation in PNT. We would heartily appreciate feedback from the attendees and their comments on this theoretical material.

Our session is a part of the project “BR21882428. The Influence and Perspectives of Islam as a Spiritual, Cultural, Political, and Social Phenomenon in Postnormal Times: The Experience of Central Asian and Middle Eastern Countries.”