The Politics of Religion in Indonesia: Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali

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Indonesia is a remarkable case study for religious politics. While not being a theocratic country, it is not secular either, with the Indonesian state officially defining what constitutes religion, and every citizen needing to be affiliated to one of them. This book focuses on Java and Bali, and the interesting comparison of two neighbouring societies shaped by two different religions - Islam and Hinduism.

The book examines the appropriation by the peoples of Java and Bali of the idea of religion, through a dialogic process of indigenization of universalist religions and universalization of indigenous religions. It looks at the tension that exists between proponents of local world-views and indigenous belief systems, and those who deny those local traditions as qualifying as a religion. This tension plays a leading part in the construction of an
Indonesian religious identity recognized by the state. The book is of interest to students and scholars of Southeast Asia, religious studies and the anthropology and sociology of religion.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michel Picard is a senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies ("Centre Asie du Sud-Est", CNRS-EHESS) in Paris. He has published extensively in the field of Balinese studies.

Rémy Madinier is a senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and is based in Jakarta for the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC). He has previously published books on Indonesian Islam.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: 'Agama', 'Adat', and the Pancasila Michel Picard Part 1: Java 1. The Catholic politics of inclusiveness: A Jesuit epic in Central Java in the early twentieth century and its memory Remy Madinier 2. The constrained place of local tradition: The discourse of Indonesian Traditionalist ulama in the 1930s Andree Feillard 3. Where have all the abangan gone? Religionization and the decline of non-standard Islam in contemporary Indonesia Robert Hefner 4. The return of Pancasila: Secular vs. Islamic norms, another look at the struggle for state dominance in Indonesia Francois Raillon Part 2: Bali 5. From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu and back: Towards a relocalization of the Balinese religion? Michel Picard 6. A new perspective for 'Balinese Hinduism' in the light of the pre-modern religious discourse: A textual-historical approach Andrea Acri 7. The withdrawal of the gods: Remarks on ritual trance possession and its decline in Bali Annette Hornbacher 8. Spiritualised politics and the trademark of culture: Political actors and their use of adat and agama in post-Suharto Bali Brigitta Hauser-Schaublin

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