The Performance of Multilingual and 'Ultralingual' Devotional Practices by Young British Muslims

Author: Andrey Rosowsky

Related Formats:
Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm
Price: £99.95
Price: $139.95
Price: €119.95

This book examines the wide range of multilingual devotional performances engaged in by young Muslims in the UK today. It evaluates the contemporary mosque school in the UK and contrasts this with practices from the past and with prevailing discourses (both political and other) which suggest that such institutions are problematic. It also challenges the highly-politicised and mediatised discourse which suggests that linguistic diversity presents a threat to the privileging of monolingualism in the UK. Finally, it argues for the usefulness of the term 'ultralingual' when analysing the multilingual devotional language performances of these young people.

This meticulously researched and insightfully conceived work successfully captures, for the first time, the complexity of the processes of re-contextualization and construction of the Muslim identity of the culturally and linguistically 'superdiverse' youth in the current rapidly globalizing diasporic community in the UK. The author's impressive multidisciplinary framework for analyzing Muslim devotional practices presents a powerful model for the study of similar phenomena across the world.

Rajeshwari Vijay Pandharipande, Professor Emerita, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

This richly layered study is a timely contribution to the fields of religious studies and sociolinguistics. In clear, lissome prose, Rosowsky guides the reader through the portal of certain Islamic devotional practices into matters of faith, language, identity, and social change. His theorization of 'ultralingual' performance is particularly valuable and this book is now the gold standard in the Sociology of Language and Religion.

Brian Bennett, Niagara University, USA

I strongly recommend this book in which Rosowsky provides understanding for the importance of liturgical literacy, where the ability to memorize, recite, and make appropriate use of the content is often more important than understanding the content itself. He elegantly shows us that reading, in this sense, is not only for the purpose of obtaining knowledge; rather it is the very form and process – the embodiment – of religious worship.

Jenny Berglund, Stockholm University, Sweden

Andrey Rosowsky is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield, UK. His publications include Aspects of Performance in Faith Settings: Heavenly Acts (ed., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019) and Faith and Language Practices in Digital Spaces (Multilingual Matters, 2017).

List of Figures
1. Introduction 
2. Multilingual and Ultralingual Devotional Practices among British Muslim Youth
3. The Research of Ultralingual Practice in the Community: A 'Gentle Ethnography'
4. Ultralingual Language Practice in Devotional Settings
5. Ultralingual Devotional Performance in 2000 and in 2019
6. 'Al-Qur'an': The Sacred Text and its Centrality (Mosque School A)
7. The Qur'anic Supplementary School in a Superdiverse Setting (Mosque School B)
8. 'Naat and Nasheed: The Performance of Devotional Songs and Poetry (Mosque School C)
9. Leaving 'the Mawlana and the Child' Behind (Mosque School D)
10. 'Binding and Shifting': Language Continuity and Linguistic Change in Ultralingual Devotional Practices

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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