This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book’s focus. This book explores what it means to live a Muslim life amid the political ruptures, economic deprivation, and transformation of religious institutions in postsocialist and postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. It focuses on how various postsocialist and postwar materialities and fabrics of social life are understood and infused with Islam, and vice versa. It does so in three ways. First, it challenges the reductive analyses of Islam and Muslim lives in postsocialist, postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina as being solely matter of ethnonational struggles and politics. Instead, the introduction develops the interlocked conceptual frames of “everyday historical work” and “vital exchange” to ethnographically elucidate how living a Muslim life in rural Bosnia and Herzegovina is ordered and inscribed by deep relations of obligation and care with the living, the dead, and the divine over a long period of time that spans generations. Finally, it provides an overview of the author's fieldwork as well as of the chapters that follow.
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