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Power Pointing Islam: Form And Spiritual Reform In Reformasi Indonesia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is framed around two interrelated questions about religion and media technology. First, it asks what specifically is new about "new media in the Islamic world," as one recent synthetic account depicts this assemblage. Second, how might we account for the apparent efficacy of "new" technologies in projects of religious proselytization? In addressing these queries the chapter provides the accounts of participants in a self-described "spiritual reform movement" in contemporary Indonesia. The chapter argues that this movement entailed an alteration of the form of religious knowledge and practice. It further argues that the novelty of new media of Islamic practice and instruction lies in the replicability of form. The chapter then shows how a specific spiritual reform initiative and its accompanying technologies constituted a search for forms adequate to governing contemporary Indonesian society during a period of history that has come to be known by many Indonesians as reformasi.

Keywords: Islam; Reformasi Indonesia; spiritual reform



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