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Tradition and Sentiment in Indonesian Environmental Islam1

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

In 2010-2011, new public messages circulated in Indonesia’s public sphere to “green” Islam. Formal and semi-formal religious education increasingly reflected and supported new ecological curricula and models. Messages of “eco-dakwah” (religious and environmental outreach) by religious authorities connected theory and practice, long established in the pesantren (madrasa) tradition. This paper highlights two affective strategies that were emerging as forms of environmental Islam: first, adapting “tradition” to be a resource for experiential awareness; and, second, the related expectation that feeling and emotion carry persuasive power to alter perception and inspire action. This dakwah cast moral sentiment and action in this world with respect to natural states anticipated in the world to come.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Languages and Cultures of Asia and Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1246 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706, USA, Email:


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