Religion can escalate as much as de-escalate violent conflict. My book substantiates this emerging consensus on the `ambivalence of the sacred' (Appleby) on the personal micro-level and links it with South Asian debates. The book asks in which various ways religious beliefs, ritual practices and dynamics of belonging impact the politics of Muslim peace activists in Gujarat/India, and explores how their activism in turn transforms their sense of Muslimness. Four distinct ways of `being Muslim and working for peace' emerge:

Faith-based actors Secular technocrats
Emancipating women Doubting professionals

Ten years after Gujarat saw major anti-Muslim riots in 2002, this empirical typology illuminates an often overlooked diversity of Muslim civil society and Muslims in civil society. The manuscript challenges popular notions about Muslims in India, questions ill-conceived research designs in the sociology of religion and advances theoretical debates about the `ambivalence of the sacred' by differentiating ambivalence - a relation of either/or - from ambiguity - a relation of neither/nor. Above all, however, it portrays 21 exceptional individuals and their struggle for a better future.

Related Articles

Related Chapters

Susewind, R. (2013). Muslimische Friedensaktivisten in Gujarat, Indien. In J. Kursawe, V. Brenner (Eds.), Religion und Konflikt: Die Ambivalenz von Religiosität in Südasien. Baden-Baden: Nomos. p. 75-95.
Susewind, R. (2013). Unity in diversity? Muslim civil society and Muslims in civil society in Gujarat, India. In D. Khudori, E. Mbokolo (Eds.), Religious diversity in a globalised society: Challenges and responses in Africa and Asia. Brawijaya: Univ. Press. p. 221-8.