Indonesia is celebrated for its courtly arts, its beautiful beaches, its tourist attractions, and its artisan marketplace. Yet long overdue is a look at Indonesian Islam as the source of and inspiration for the arts throughout the history if its people, and in the dynamic popular performances of today. From the rhythmic grooves of dang dut, the archipelago's tenacious pop music, to the oft-quoted image of the wayang shadow puppet-theater, Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia investigates the expression of the Muslim religion through a diversity of art forms in this region. And from Quranic recitation by teenaged girls and women in Jakarta to the provincial patronage of Sufi arts and Muslim ritual as regional performance, this volume further addresses the ways in which Islam-inspired performance has been co-opted and appropriated for the expression of national culture. Eleven ethnographic case studies by an international roster of specialists in Indonesian expressive culture and performing arts are complimented by an introduction by co-editors David Harnish and Anne Rasmussen, and an epilogue by senior scholar Judith Becker.
The collection explores the region's various micro-cultures of music, dance, religious ritual, government patronage, social censorship, tourism, development, and gender roles and relations. This pastiche speaks on personal, political, global, and local levels to the most important question of identity and ideology in Indonesia today: Islam. Divine Inspirations will engage readers interested in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Islam, world religions, global discourse, and music, arts and ritual.