Women's majelis taklim groups in northern Ambon: new piety or new public?

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 02 November 2011


Seminar Room B, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Phillip Winn (School of Culture, History & Language, ANU)


Indonesia Project
+61 2 6125 3794
The phenomenal growth of majelis taklim (religious study groups) throughout Indonesia has been linked to ideas of an “Islamic revival”, generally conceived as involving locally innovative forms of Muslim piety in which scripturalist or theologico-legal concerns often predominate. This paper argues for greater attention to the specific terms in which global and national trends in Muslim religiosity find expression locally. I suggest that the emergence of women’s majelis taklim on the north coast of Ambon Island acts primarily to reaffirm forms of devotional performance that are longstanding among Ambonese Muslims. While there is some evidence to suggest majelis taklim have a role also in reshaping aspects of local religious practice, this process is as rooted in local concerns as it reflects new intersections of religious and political discourse.

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