Transgressive Sanctity: The Abrek in Chechen Culture

Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 271-306, Spring 2007

36 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 11 Jan 2015

See all articles by Rebecca Gould

Rebecca Gould

Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham; Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Date Written: March 29, 2010

Abstract

The ancient tradition of the abrek (bandit) was developed into a political institution during the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century by Chechen and other Muslim peoples of the Caucasus as a strategy for dealing with the overwhelming military force of Russia's imperial army. During the Soviet period, the abrek became a locus for oppositional politics and arguably influenced the representations of violence and anti-colonial resistance during the recent Chechen Wars (1994-indefinite). This article is one of the first works of English-language scholarship to historicize this institution.

Keywords: Chechnya, Islam, Violence, Banditry, Criminality, Colonialism, Post-Soviet, Rebellion, Literature, Law

Suggested Citation

Gould, Rebecca Ruth, Transgressive Sanctity: The Abrek in Chechen Culture (March 29, 2010). Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 271-306, Spring 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1580997

Rebecca Ruth Gould (Contact Author)

Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham ( email )

College of Arts and Law
Birmingham, UK, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom
https://rrgould.hcommons.org/ (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/rebeccagould

Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies ( email )

1730 Cambridge Street, 3rd Floor
Cambridge, 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/about-us/people/rebecca-gould

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
60
rank
335,319
Abstract Views
521
PlumX