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A Small Christian Flock In Bali

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Chapter Summary

Among the great cultural and religious varieties of Indonesia, the island Bali shows one of the most spectacular examples. Van der Tuuk was willing to give the Catholic missionaries courses in Balinese. The Balinese villages of the Mengwi region reacted in a quite drastic way. All new Christians were expelled from the villages and declared excommunicated and dead. The 'Protestant village' of Blimbingsari that had started in the late 1930s as a refuge for baptised from other regions of Bali, developed slowly, solidly and finally prosperously. Bible translation is a quite complicated matter in Bali. For traditional Balinese people the sacred scripture is in Old Javanese. The most common argument in favour of the use of Balinese elements within Christian expressions is that the artistic and cultural Balinese elements can be separated from Hinduism as a religion.

Keywords: Bali; Blimbingsari; Catholic missionaries; Christian; Hinduism; Indonesia; Protestant village; Van der Tuuk

10.1163/ej.9789004170261.i-1004.184
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