Popular Piety in Indonesia: “Aestheticization” and Reproduction of Islam
Keywords:Popular piety, ḥijāb, ʿumrah, public Islam, civil Islam, post-Islamism
Globalization and democratization have greatly contributed to the rise of Islamic popular culture especially popular piety in Indonesia. Popular piety can be defined as Muslims’ religious expressions that are driven mostly by their culture or atmosphere rather than their ideology. This article will observe several phenomena of popular piety such as the flourish of the hijâb among middle-class urbanite Muslims, dahwahtainment, the hijrah movement, the burgeoning of ʿumrah pilgrimage with celebrities etc. It is interesting to see these phenomena as part of the process of re-Islamization, secularization, or even post-Islamism. In my view, popular piety is part of the process of public Islam which in turn will generate civil Islam. The phenomena of popular piety will not only be viewed from the perspective of commodification of Islam and consumerism of Muslims, but also as an “aestheticization” of Islam which would foster a much broader interpretation of Islam in Indonesia.
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