Upgraded piety and pleasure: the new middle class and Islam in Indonesian popular culture

Ariel Heryanto

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The conspicuous presence of what can be called “pop Islam” or “Islamic chic” in the last two or three decades has been a further blow to the already discredited modernist and liberalist theories. The onward march of modernization has not pushed religions to the margin of social life, or to near to extinction. Modernity does not necessarily imply or require secularization. Religions have done more than simply survived well in many parts of the modernized world (Turner 2006, 2007), as attested to by contemporary Islam. The world has witnessed the remarkable growth of the so-called new religious movements. “Unlike the established religions, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, which spread . . . in an ad hoc fashion, the founders of new religious movements . . . adopted a world focus from the outset” (Smith 2008: 3). Contemporary Muslims’ political activities are not restricted to selected segments of trans-national networks such as revived fundamentalism and violence-oriented militancy. Islam has presented itself in many parts of the globe of late as a new set of variants of contemporary lifestyles, especially among youth. A failure to take religions and religious movements seriously for critical analysis has not only marred modernists. Ironically, the same failure can be found among their most radical critics, namely post-modernists, poststructuralists, and those in cultural studies. Until very recently, there has been a general tendency among all of the latter to avoid or dismiss religious-based movements and discourses. This is the case despite the claims they have made to privilege and celebrate the West’s others as well as the disadvantaged, subaltern, or minorities (with special reference to Asian studies, see Clammer 2000 and Stange 1991).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIslam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia
    Editors Andrew N Weintraub
    Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415565189
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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