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What Constitutes Being Muslim in Indonesia

A What’s New?! lecture organized by LUCIS
This talk undertakes a rich ethnographic study of Eastern Indonesia’s Bima Muslims who constitute their Islamic identities and agencies. The analysis of the Muslims in the region shows that religious practice remains vigorous over such things as prayers, rituals, spirit possession, healings, and life-cycle rituals. Through its exploration of symbols, meanings, material cultures, power relations, the duality of the political setting, this talk illuminates a wide range of debates between local politics and everyday Islam, and between the traditionalists and the reformists over the local rituals. It provides an understanding of the cultural politics of Islam in Indonesia and sheds new light on the importance of religion in the post-New Order era.


About the speaker: Muhammad Adlin Sila Muhammad Adlin Sila is now working as a lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta, Indonesia. He graduated from the School of Culture, History, and Language (SCHL), ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Sila’s main research is on religious studies, social sciences, and social anthropology.

Practical information
Thursday 31 March 2022
Time 17:15 – 18:15 (Amsterdam CET)
Place: Online
Register: for free here>

About his book Being Muslim in Indonesia
This volume describes how Muslims in Indonesia consider their religious practices, politics, and culture as Islamic. By examining the various ways Bima Muslims constitute their Islamic identities and agencies through rituals and festivals, this book argues that religious practice is still vigorous in present Bima. It explores the reproduction of religious meanings among various local Muslims and the differences between social groups. Islam is divided between the traditionalist and reformist Muslims, between the royal family and the ordinary Muslims, and between Muslim clerics and laypeople. Consequently, there is no single picture of Islam. As Bima Muslims construe their Islam in response to their surroundings, what it means to be a Muslim is constantly being negotiated. The complexity of religious life has been a result of the duality of socio-political settings in Bima which stems from the early period of the Islamization of Bima to the present.

What’s New?! is a lecture series organized by LUCIS and the department of Middle Eastern Studies. The lectures focus on current research on Islam and the Middle East.

In this lecture series, experts in the field of Islam and/or the Middle East share their insights on topics ranging from food to witches, from Snouck Hurgronje to conversion, from Islamic architecture to the Arab left. See the full program>

LUCIS, Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society, promotes high-quality research on Islam and Muslim societies and actively communicates the insights and findings of that research to the larger public. More information> 


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