Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies –ICRS-Yogya
Draft Syllabus 3
History of Religions in Indonesia Part I: Prehistory to 1900 -3 Credits
September - December, 2008 Bernard Adeney-Risakotta
Mondays, 10:00-12:30 Mark Woodward (Guest lecturers)
Graduate School UGM, Yogyakarta
There are three primary goals of this required doctoral seminar.
1. The course aims to develop a common discourse between all ICRS-Yogya doctoral
students about the relations between religious communities, especially in Indonesia from
Pre-history until the early 20th Century. A common discourse is not the same as
agreement or a “master narrative”. Given the diversity of students’ academic and
religious backgrounds our goal is a productive conversation, based on some shared
understandings of the history of religions in Indonesia.
2. The course aims to help each student understand different narratives of experience of
religions in Indonesia prior to Independence. We assume that different religious
communities have different assumptions about their place in Indonesian history that give
rise to different, sometimes complementary and sometimes conflicting narratives about
their community as part of Indonesian identity.
3. The course aims to help students define what are their questions about religions in
Indonesia and then choose and apply appropriate theories and methods for finding out
what they want to understand. The success of this doctoral seminar depends on active,
critical and respectful interaction between the students regarding their research interests.
1. Active, responsible participation in all classes (40% of grade). This includes:
a. Attendance at all doctoral seminars on time.
b. Read all required readings before the designated class.
c. Write a ½ - 1 page, critical response each week. We will create an exclusive
blog room for students in this course www.icrs.ugm.ac.id where students should
post their critical responses to the readings one day prior to the class. Please turn
in two hard copies to the 2 instructors.
d. Present your critical response to the readings at one of the classes (5-10
e. Critically respond to one of the critical responses of a student in class (5
f. Participate critically, creatively and respectfully in discussions. Ask
questions, be critical, make comments and suggestions.
2. Write a doctoral level research paper that shows creative, substantive research on
some aspect of the history of religions in Indonesia prior to 1900 (60% of grade). This
includes three steps:
a. Write a research report, “thought piece” or working paper on the topic of your
final paper and present it in class. 5-10 pages, double spaced, 15-20 minute
b. Write a final term paper. Normally this should be a development of your
report in class that takes into account criticisms and suggestions received in class.
Students are encouraged to pick a topic that relates to their dissertation research
interests. 15-20 pages, double spaced.
c. Submit an article for publication in a local, regional, national or international
publication based on your research for your final paper. This may be in
Indonesian, English or another language. Normally short articles (2-3 pages) are
easier to publish.
Schedule of Seminars and Readings
1 Sept. 08 1. Introduction Bernie and Mark
a. Introductions: student defined goals of the class.
b. The urgent need for an historical narrative
c. Problems in studying the history of religions in Indonesia
d. Theories and methods in relation to historical research
Recommended: Daniel Pals, Eight Theories of Religion (2006); Linda
Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies (1999); ___________, Guns,
Germs and Steel: The History of Everybody for the Past 13,000 years.
8 Sept. 08 2. What is “history” and what is “religion”? Why is it important? Bernie
Required: Preciosa de Joya, “The Task of Remembrance: History as the
Burden of Inheritance and an Opportunity for Justice” in Melintas Journal,
(22/ 2, Aug-Nov 06), pp. 591-599; Clifford Geertz, “Religion as a Cultural
System” in The Interpretation of Culture, pp. ; Talal Asad, The
Genealogies of Religion, pp. 1-54.
15 Sept. 08 3. Early processes of Islamisation in Southeast Asia:
Guest: Merle Ricklefs **Note Special time: 14:00-16:30
Required: M. C. Ricklefs, A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300,
pp. 1-58; M. C. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis in Java, pp. 3-32.
22 Sept. 08 4. Islamic movements in the Malay world and global perspectives, 1800-
Guest: Farish Noor.
Required: ______________, “Religion and Anti-Colonial Movements” in
The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Vol. 2, pp. 197-248.
29 Sept. 08 No Class: Idul Fitri
6 Oct. 08 No Class: Idul Fitri
13 Oct. 08 5. Pre-history of religions in Southeast Asia Mark
Required: J. D. Legge, “The Writing of Southeast Asian History” and J.
G. Casparis & I. W. Mabbett, “Religion and Popular Beliefs of Southeast
Asia before c. 1500”, both in The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia:
Vol. 1, pp. 1-50, 276-339.
20 Oct. 08 6.Ancestors and Power in Primordial Indonesian Religions Bernie
Required: Henry Chambert-Loir and Anthony Reid, eds. The Potent
Dead: Ancestors, Saints and Heroes in Contemporary Indonesia, pp. 1-
31?; Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, “The Idea of Power in Javanese Culture”
in Language and Power: Exploring Political Cultures in Indonesia, pp. 17-
27 Oct. 08 7. Indianization of Southeast Asia: Srivijaya and Majapahit Mark
Required: Toru Aoyama, “Indianization Revisited: A Comparative review
and its contemporary significance” (Unpublished), pp. 1-14; G. Coedes,
The Indianized states of Southeast Asia, pp. 14-35; 81-96; Cambridge
History of Southeast Asia, Vol. 1, pp. 173-182.
3 Nov. 08 8. Hindu-Buddhist Cultures in Indonesia: literature, philosophy and
Tentative Guest lecture: Ignatius Kuntara Wiryamartana, S.J.
Required: P. J. Zoetmulder, Kalangwan: a Survey of Old Javanese
Literature, pp. ; Helen Crese, Parthayana: The Journeying of Partha, an
Eighteenth-Century Balinese Kakawin; S. O. Robson, Desawarnana
10 Nov. 08 9. The Great Temples of Java: Prambanan and Borobodur –field trip
Required: J. Dumarcay, Temples of Java, pp. ; Roy E. Jordaan (ed.) In
Praise of Prambanan (1997), pp. .
17 Nov. 08 10. Religion in Southeast Asia c. 1500-1800 Mark
Required: Barbara Watson Andaya & Yoneo Ishii, “Religious
Developments in Southeast Asia, c. 1500-1800” in Cambridge History of
Southeast Asia Vol. 1, pp. 508-571; M.C. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis in
Java, pp. 33-54
24 Nov. 08 11. Islam, Culture and Javanese Beliefs: Wali Songo Mark
Required: M.C. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis in Java, pp. 55-150.
1 Dec. 08 12. Islam and Java in the 18th-19th Centuries Mark
Required: M. C. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis in Java, pp. 151-235; Mark R.
Woodward, Islam in Java, pp. 1-52.
8 Dec. 08 13. Christianity, Islam & Eastern Indonesia: Identity, Colonialism and
Required: Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, Politics, Ritual and Identity in
15 Dec. 08 14. Christianization and Contextualization in Indonesia Bernie
Required: _____ Partono, Shadrach…