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A Marian Pilgrimage Site as a Lens on Central Javanese Cultural Values

image of Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia

Sendangsono is by far the most popular place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics in Indonesia. It has been known from time immemorial as a centre of worship of indigenous religions. However, during the first three decades of the twentieth century the Roman Catholic missionaries Van Lith and Prennthaler succeeded in turning it into a Christian pilgrimage centre focused on the devotion to Maria. By applying the principles of adaptation and inculturation these Jesuit priests turned the place into a West European Christian stronghold amid a hostile, ‘pagan’ environment. However, since the late fifties of the twentieth century a kind of ‘Javanization’ of this Marian pilgrimage site seems to have taken place. The author, architect, and priest Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya played a crucial role in this process. Partly due to his efforts, Sendangsono became the place where Javanese believers of all persuasions celebrate their ‘shared Javanese cultural values as a Common Bond’.

Affiliations: 1: Tilburg University h.l.beck@uvt.nl

10.1163/22134379-17401023
/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-17401023
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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Sendangsono is by far the most popular place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics in Indonesia. It has been known from time immemorial as a centre of worship of indigenous religions. However, during the first three decades of the twentieth century the Roman Catholic missionaries Van Lith and Prennthaler succeeded in turning it into a Christian pilgrimage centre focused on the devotion to Maria. By applying the principles of adaptation and inculturation these Jesuit priests turned the place into a West European Christian stronghold amid a hostile, ‘pagan’ environment. However, since the late fifties of the twentieth century a kind of ‘Javanization’ of this Marian pilgrimage site seems to have taken place. The author, architect, and priest Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya played a crucial role in this process. Partly due to his efforts, Sendangsono became the place where Javanese believers of all persuasions celebrate their ‘shared Javanese cultural values as a Common Bond’.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-17401023
2018-01-01
2018-11-16

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