Heavenly Readings Liturgical Literacy in a Multilingual Context Author: Andrey Rosowsky

Ebook(PDF) - 256 pages
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04 Aug 2008
New Perspectives on Language and Education
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148

Key features

- First in-depth study of the literacy practices associated with Islam

- Highlights the importance of such practices to religious communities in the current political climate


This ethnographic study investigates for the first time in any significant depth the literacy practices associated with the religion of Islam as they are shaped, lived and experienced within a typical multilingual Muslim community in the United Kingdom. It seeks to counterbalance prevailing views on such practices which have often been misinformed, misrepresented and misunderstood. Making liberal recourse to the words, views and lives of its participants, this book describes, explores and celebrates liturgical literacy as a major contributor to group and individual cultural, linguistic and religious identities. In a political and social climate often inimical to religious practices in general, and to Islamic ones in particular, this book highlights the centrality and significance of such literacy practices to minority ethno-religious communities in their daily lives.


This brief volume contributes very constructively to the fields of Sociology of literacy, Sociology of Religion and the joint and pioneering field Sociology of Language and Religion and can serve as an excellent introductory textbook to each of them when taught as undergraduate or early graduate level courses. In addition, it covers beautifully such increasingly vital areas as Islam in England and in South Asia, diglossia between modern spoken, read and written vernaculars and related, but often very different, classical languages of rote-recited liturgy.

- Joshua A. Fishman, prizewinning and renowned sociolinguistic author, editor and researcher

This is a book that is at once entertaining, informative and highly educative.

- Tope Omoniyi, Professor of Sociolinguistics, Roehampton University.

Author Biography:

Andrey Rosowsky was a secondary school teacher of English and Languages for twenty years spending most of his career working in multiethnic and multilingual schools in the UK and elsewhere. After spending three years working for a local authority as a literacy consultant, he joined the School of Education at the University of Sheffield in 2005 and now works in Initial Teacher Education.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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