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The Makings of Indonesian IslamOrientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past$
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Michael Laffan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145303

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145303.001.0001

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Foundational Visions of Indies Islam, 1600–1800

Foundational Visions of Indies Islam, 1600–1800

(p.67) Chapter Four Foundational Visions of Indies Islam, 1600–1800
The Makings of Indonesian Islam

Michael Laffan

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the very hazy notions of Islam that were formed in the course of the first voyages of the 1590s, emphasizing the place of Protestantism in the evolving understanding of Islam and its problematic relationship with the East India Companies. In the wider East, there was a deepening understanding of the cultures and religions of the Indies based on hard experience. More can be gleaned from letters sent home than from the print record, a fact that may probably be attributed more to the perception that information on such subjects was of limited utility in the metropole than to a lack of knowledge per se. However, early Dutch views of Islam were shaped less by historical knowledge than by “sound conviction.” As the seventeenth century wore on, that conviction would come to rest on the Protestant notion of a return to the text.

Keywords:   Islam, Protestantism, East India Companies, Indies, Dutch

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