Mark R. Woodward’s Islam in Java: Normative Piety and Mysticism in the Sultanate of Yogyakarta (1989) was one of the most important work on Indonesian Islam of the era. This new volume, Java, Indonesia, and Islam, builds on the earlier study, but also goes beyond it in important ways. Written on the basis of Woodward’s thirty years of research on Javanese Islam in a Yogyakarta (south-central Java) setting, the book presents a much-needed collection of essays concerning Javanese Islamic texts, ritual, sacred space, situated in Javanese and Indonesian political contexts. With a number of entirely new essays as well as significantly revised versions of essays this book is a valuable contribution to the academic community by an eminent anthropologist and key authority on Islamic religion and culture in Java.
Muslim-Christian Relations and Gendered Sociality in Java, Indonesia
Author: En-Chieh Chao
Category: Social Science
This book explores the social life of Muslim women and Christian minorities amid Islamic and Christian movements in urban Java, Indonesia. Drawing on anthropological perspectives and 14 months of participant observation between 2009 and 2013 in the multi-religious Javanese city of Salatiga, this ethnography examines the interrelations between Islamic piety, Christian identity, and gendered sociability in a time of multiple religious revivals. The novel encounters between multiple forms of piety and customary sociality among “moderate” Muslims, puritan Salafists, born-again Pentecostals, Protestants, and Catholics require citizens to renegotiate various social interactions. En-Chieh Chao argues that piety has become a complex phenomenon entangled with gendered sociality and religious others, rather than a preordained outcome stemming from a self-contained religious tradition.
"In four brief chapters," writes Clifford Geertz in his preface, "I have attempted both to lay out a general framework for the comparative analysis of religion and to apply it to a study of the development of a supposedly single creed, Islam, in two quite contrasting civilizations, the Indonesian and the Moroccan." Mr. Geertz begins his argument by outlining the problem conceptually and providing an overview of the two countries. He then traces the evolution of their classical religious styles which, with disparate settings and unique histories, produced strikingly different spiritual climates. So in Morocco, the Islamic conception of life came to mean activism, moralism, and intense individuality, while in Indonesia the same concept emphasized aestheticism, inwardness, and the radical dissolution of personality. In order to assess the significance of these interesting developments, Mr. Geertz sets forth a series of theoretical observations concerning the social role of religion.
Islam is a religion but there are also popular cultures of Islam that are mass mediated, commercialized, pleasure-filled, humorous, and representative of large segments of society. This book illuminates how Muslims (and non-Muslims) in Indonesia and Malaysia make sense of their lives within an increasingly pervasive, popular culture of Islamic images, texts, film, songs, and narratives.
Based on extensive ethnographic research, this book examines how the Islamic community in Java, Indonesia, is actively negotiating both modernity and tradition in the contexts of nation-building, globalisation, and a supposed clash of civilizations. The pesantren community, so-called because it is centered around an educational institution called the pesantren, uses education as a central arena for dealing with globalization and the construction and maintenance of an Indonesian Islamic identity. However, the community's efforts to wrestle with these issues extend beyond education into the public sphere in general and specifically in the area of leadership and politics. The case material is used to understand Muslim strategies and responses to civilizational contact and conflict. Scholars, educated readers, and advanced undergraduates interested in Islam, religious education, the construction of religious identity in the context of national politics and globalization will find this work useful.
Understanding and managing inter-religious relations, particularly between Muslims and Christians, presents a challenge for states around the world. This book investigates legal disputes between religious communities in the world’s largest majority-Muslim, democratic country, Indonesia. It considers how the interaction between state and religion has influenced relations between religious communities in the transition to democracy. The book presents original case studies based on empirical field research of court disputes in West Java, a majority-Muslim province with a history of radical Islam. These include criminal court cases, as well as cases of judicial review, relating to disputes concerning religious education, permits for religious buildings and the crime of blasphemy. The book argues that the democratic law reform process has been influenced by radical Islamists because of the politicization of religion under democracy and the persistence of fears of Christianization. It finds that disputes have been localized through the decentralization of power and exacerbated by the central government’s ambivalent attitude towards radical Islamists who disregard the rule of law. Examining the challenge facing governments to accommodate minorities and manage religious pluralism, the book furthers understanding of state-religion relations in the Muslim world. This accessible and engaging book is of interest to students and scholars of law and society in Southeast Asia, was well as Islam and the state, and the legal regulation of religious diversity.
This is not only a comprehensive, well-balanced and very informative account of past and present developments in Islam in Indonesia but also by far the most readable. Jamie Mackie Emeritus Professor and Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Project, Australian National University An important book that bridges the gap between the more specialist literature and the - often depressingly ill-informed - comments of journalists and ideologues. Merle Ricklefs Professor, Department of History, National University of Singapore Popular perceptions of Islam in the world's largest Muslim-majority country reflect contending stereotypes. Some see it as mystical and benign, others fear that Islamic extremists are already on the way to dominating Indonesia's struggling democracy. For those who don't know what to think, this readable book offers keys to understanding what is really going on, drawn from analysis of Indonesia's long history, unparalleled diversity and contemporary development.
Civil Islam tells the story of Islam and democratization in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation. Challenging stereotypes of Islam as antagonistic to democracy, this study of courage and reformation in the face of state terror suggests possibilities for democracy in the Muslim world and beyond. Democratic in the early 1950s and with rich precedents for tolerance and civility, Indonesia succumbed to violence. In 1965, Muslim parties were drawn into the slaughter of half a million communists. In the aftermath of this bloodshed, a "New Order" regime came to power, suppressing democratic forces and instituting dictatorial controls that held for decades. Yet from this maelstrom of violence, repressed by the state and denounced by conservative Muslims, an Islamic democracy movement emerged, strengthened, and played a central role in the 1998 overthrow of the Soeharto regime. In 1999, Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid was elected President of a reformist, civilian government. In explaining how this achievement was possible, Robert Hefner emphasizes the importance of civil institutions and public civility, but argues that neither democracy nor civil society is possible without a civilized state. Against portrayals of Islam as inherently antipluralist and undemocratic, he shows that Indonesia's Islamic reform movement repudiated the goal of an Islamic state, mobilized religiously ecumenical support, promoted women's rights, and championed democratic ideals. This broadly interdisciplinary and timely work heightens our awareness of democracy's necessary pluralism, and places Indonesia at the center of our efforts to understand what makes democracy work.
This empirically grounded work explores the emerging aspects of cultural politics in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. It engages with complex issues of cultural translation, localization and globalization from various perspectives through analyzing a diverse range of cultural forms, including government or palace-based celebrations, ceremonies and rituals, modern student theatre, and Islamic revival sessions. With its discussion of both old and new Islamic movements, alongside the contested religious interpretations of public cultural events, this book will be of interest not only to anthropologists, but also to scholars of religion, culture and sociology.
This book draws on the work of Rawls to explore the interaction between faith, law and the right to religious freedom in post-Soeharto Indonesia, the world’s largest democracy after India and the United States. It argues that enforcement of Islamic principles by the state is inconsistent with religious diversity and the country’s liberal constitution. The book thus contributes to understanding the role of religion in the development of democracy in the world’s largest Muslim nation. A key objective is to test the argument that Rawls’ thinking about public reason cannot apply to the case of Indonesia, and Muslim states more broadly. The book therefore contributes to emerging scholarship that considers Rawls in a Muslim context. In addition to examining public reason in detail and considering critiques of the concept, the work highlights the fact that the theory was created to deal with value pluralism and is therefore relevant in any religious setting, including an Islamic one. In doing so, it emphasises that Islam is multifaceted and demonstrates the difficulties, and negative consequences, of integrating faith and law in a liberal state.
Although Indonesia is generally considered to be a Muslim state, and is indeed the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, it has a sizeable Christian minority as a legacy of Dutch colonialism, with Christians often occupying relatively high social positions. This book examines the management of religion in Indonesia. It discusses how Christianity has developed in Indonesia, how the state, though Muslim in outlook and culture, is nevertheless formally secular, and how the principal Christian church, the Java Christian Church, has adapted its practices to fit local circumstances. It examines religious violence and charts the evolution of the state’s religious policies, analysing in particular the impact of the 1974 Marriage Law showing how it enabled extensive state regulation, but how in practice, rather than reinforcing religious divisions, inter-religious marriage, involving the conversion of one party, is widespread. Overall, the book shows how Indonesia is developing its own brand of secularism, neither a full-blooded Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, nor an outright secular state like Turkey.
The traditional Islamic boarding schools known as pesantren are crucial centres of Muslim learning and culture within Indonesia, but their cultural significance has been underexplored. This book is the first to explore understandings of gender and Islam in pesantren and Sufi orders in Indonesia. By considering these distinct but related Muslim gender cultures in Java, Lombok and Aceh, the book examines the broader function of pesantren as a force for both redefining existing modes of Muslim subjectivity and cultivating new ones. It demonstrates how, as Muslim women rise to positions of power and authority in this patriarchal domain, they challenge and negotiate "normative" Muslim patriarchy while establishing their own Muslim "authenticity." The book goes on to question the comparison of Indonesian Islam with the Arab Middle East, challenging the adoption of expatriate and diasporic Middle Eastern Muslim feminist discourses and secular western feminist analyses in Indonesian contexts. Based on extensive fieldwork, the book explores configurations of female leadership, power, feminisms and sexuality to reveal multiple Muslim selves in pesantren and Sufi orders, not only as centres of learning, but also as social spaces in which the interplay of gender, politics, status, power and piety shape the course of life.
Islam, Gender and Networks in Post-Suharto Indonesia
Author: Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi
Publisher: NUS Press
Category: Political Science
In an important social change, female Muslim political leaders in Java have enjoyed considerable success in direct local elections following the fall of Suharto in Indonesia. Indonesian Women and Local Politics shows that Islam, gender, and social networks have been decisive in their political victories. Islamic ideas concerning female leadership provide a strong religious foundation for their political campaigns. However, their approach to women's issues shows that female leaders do not necessarily adopt a woman's perspectives when formulating policies. This new trend of Muslim women in politics will continue to shape the growth and direction of democratization in local politics in post-Suharto Indonesia and will color future discourse on gender, politics, and Islam in contemporary Southeast Asia.
As the forces of globalisation and modernisation buffet Islam and other world religions, Indonesia's 200 million Muslims are expressing their faith in ever more complex ways. This book examines some of the ways in which Islam is expressed in contemporary Indonesian life and politics. Editors from Australian National University.
Indonesia's Muslims are still pondering the role of religion in public life. Although the religious violence marring the transition towards democratic reform has ebbed, the Muslim community has polarised into reactionary and progressive camps with increasingly antagonistic views on the place of Islam in society. Debates over the underlying principles of democratisation have further heated up after a fatwa issued by conservative religious scholars condemned secularism, pluralism and liberalism as un-Islamic. With a hesitant government dominated by Indonesia's eternal political elites failing to take a clear stance, supporters of the decision are pursuing their Islamisation agendas with renewed vigour, displaying growing intolerance towards other religions and what they consider deviant Muslim minorities. Extremist and radical exponents of this Islamist bloc receive more international media coverage and scholarly attention than their progressive opponents who are defiantly challenging this reactionary trend. Calling for a true transformation of Indonesian society based on democratic principles and respect for human rights, they insist that this depends on secularisation, religious toleration, and freethinking. Conceived as a contemporary history of ideas, this book aims to tell the story of these open- minded intellectuals and activists in the world's largest Muslim country.
"Rasmussen has written a classic study of the world of Islamic soundscapes, performances and forms of musical piety in that most complex of societies, Indonesia. With great sensitivity, an alert musical response to players, reciters and audiences, a keen practitioner's ear and eye for subtlety as well as for the complexities of 'noise', she changes common assumptions about Muslim music and, not least, gender in changing Islamic ritual cultures. Her own political awareness and her professional as well as personal relations with women Qu'ran reciters contribute to an exciting an original volume that I recommend to any one exploring the riches of Islamic performances and debates in the contemporary world."—Michael Gilsenan, author of Lords of the Lebanese Marches: Violence and Narrative in an Arab Society