Celebrating Muhammad’s Birthday in Yogyakarta

The festival of the birth of the Prophet in Indonesia begins on the sixth day of the month of Mawlid and ends on the twelfth day. It is one of the most important religious festivals in the world’s largest Muslim country. This religious celebration is held in three Indonesian royal courts: Yogyakarta, Surakarta, and Cirebon. My paper is a brief ethnographic account of the Muhammad’s birthday [...]

Rethinking “Religion” from the Margins

We have long been hearing about the degeneration of Buddhism in Thailand, most often accompanying scandals involving monks who deal with money, magic, or sex. Such realities are inevitably attributed to modernity or globalization. However, the relative decline of the Sangha as a state-sanctioned ecclesia does not necessarily mean the decline of religion in general. Rather, there is an emerging [...]

Menimbang-ulang “Agama” dari sudut pinggiran

Berita tentang kematian Buddhisme di Thailand telah lama terdengar, paling sering diikuti dengan skandal yang melibatkan sejumlah biksu yang berurusan dengan uang, sihir, atau seks. Beragam kenyataan tersebut pastinya terkait dengan modernitas atau globalisasi. Namun, memudarnya pengaruh Sangha sebagai kumpulan sanksi negara tidak berarti penurunan agama secara umum. Sebaliknya, itu berarti bahwa [...]

Staging Hinduism in the Bangkok metropolis: Ritual spectacle and religious pluralism in an urban Thai Buddhist milieu

In recent decades Thai Buddhists increasingly have turned to Hindu deities as benevolent sources of miraculous assistance and devotional intimacy. Within contemporary Bangkok there are many public sites fueling curiosity in Hindu deities and devotional practices, if not Hinduism itself. There are Hindu temples originally founded by Indian migrants to serve diasporic communities, such as the Sri [...]

Buddhism, Politics, and Modernity in Southeast Asia

I am very excited to have been given the opportunity by the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia to highlight the work of a diverse group of six young scholars. These scholars work across a range of disciplines and source materials and have different language skills. However, their work reveals exciting trends in Southeast Asian Studies – scholars of religion who are well-attuned to the social, [...]