Imams in modern Tatarstan: typology and development trends




Islam, typology of Imams, religious education, mosque, Muslim community


The article is focused on Imams. Imams are religious figures towards which ordinary Muslims are oriented in their views and values. This makes Imams an important object of the study in an attempt to understand the prospects of the Muslim development in Russia. The article provides an analysis of social conditions and factors driving the formation of the Imam Community in post-Soviet Tatarstan.The empirical basis of the study is the data of a questionnaire- based survey among Imams who were the participants of advanced training short courses in Russian Islamic university (Kazan, Tatarstan). Based on the results of the study the authors developed a typology of the community of Imams as religious professionals. The modern imam typology is closely tied to social conditions affecting the institution of Imam and includes Soviet and post-Soviet generations and their groups.Those groups which were the largest and the most typical within their generations were considered («popular mullahs», «Imams-neophytes» and «Imams-professionals»).