Publication Type:



Raphael Susewind


Internationales Asienforum, Volume 42, Number 3-4, p.299-317 (2011)



Ch5, Ch6, Gujarat, PhD


Recourse to religion can escalate as well as de-escalate intergroup conflict – so far the emerging academic consensus. But the "ambivalence of the sacred" (Appleby 2000) concerns not only violent or non-violent movements or ideologies, it is also experienced on the micro-level of religious identities and individual agency. This article demonstrates at the example of two female Muslim peace activists' biographical narratives and psychometric profiles how the ambivalence and ambiguity of religion towards violent conflict unfolds as a decisively personal dynamic. Both women struggle with and fight for religion in Gujarat, India – and both experience their own Muslimness as ambivalent and ambiguous. Their narratives further emphasize the relevance of explorative empirical methods on the personal micro-level for an adequate understanding of religio-political conflict.