Java, Indonesia and Islam by Mark Woodward

By Mark Woodward

Mark R. Woodward's Islam in Java: Normative Piety and Mysticism within the Sultanate of Yogyakarta (1989) was once some of the most vital works on Indonesian Islam of the period. This new quantity builds at the prior examine, but additionally is going past it in vital methods. Written at the foundation of Woodward’s thirty years of analysis on Javanese Islam in a Yogyakarta (south-central Java) environment, the e-book provides a much-needed number of essays pertaining to Javanese Islamic texts, ritual, sacred house, located in Javanese and Indonesian political contexts.
With a couple of fullyyt new essays in addition to considerably revised models of essays this booklet is a priceless contribution to the educational group through an eminent anthropologist and key authority on Islamic faith and tradition in Java.

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44 The dialect of Javanese spoken in Yogyakarta and Surakarta, and which has come to be considered “standard” Javanese in Indonesia and the global academic community is especially hierarchical. Dialects spoken in areas that were not subject to the control of Mataram and its successor states are decidedly less hierarchical. This indicates that the linguistic hierarchies of the Javanese Muslim courts were created as elements of kraton centered hegemonic discourse. Javanese who do not speak the court centered dialects are often reluctant to speak Javanese with those for whom this dialect is a native tongue for fear of making mistakes and being taken as “rustics”.

The first is simply that Indonesian is “official”. the second is that many consider it to be difficult, if not impossible, to determine who should speak to who in what level. Relationships based on notions of equality are much easier to conduct in Indonesian. Javanese has in this sense been privatized, but for most, remains the language in which they think and dream. It is less and less of a public language. Little is now written and very few people, despite lessons in school, can read or write in Javanese script.

They are the product of the interaction of modernity and Orientalism. Unlike more traditional Javanese mystical groups, including one described in Chapter 2, they are not strongly tied to locality or specifically Javanese historical narrative. Most teach that they are modes of belief and practice that are independent of, but can be combined with any “religion”. Like Theosophy they are concerned primarily with the psychological and experiential dimensions of mysticism. Many of the leaders of these movements I interviewed in the late 1970s were familiar with the writings of Hellena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, and had Dutch translations of her works in their personal libraries.

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