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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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Distant Musings on a Crucial Colony, 1882–1888

Distant Musings on a Crucial Colony, 1882–1888

(p.125) Chapter Seven Distant Musings on a Crucial Colony, 1882–1888
The Makings of Indonesian Islam

Michael Laffan

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at Snouck Hurgronje's interventions in the field in Holland, his criticisms of the juridical and missiological attacks on the orthopraxy of Islam in the Indies, and his alliance with those whom he deemed to have a more scholarly interpretation of Islam, and whose views he therefore promoted as beneficial to public well-being within a still Netherlandic Indies. In particular, the chapter will consider the distaste of Snouck and his allies for the varieties of populist mysticism that rival—and rather less juridically concerned—Muslim teachers could turn to their own purposes. Trained in the field of religious studies, Snouck had a decided aversion to legalistic scholarship that prioritized text over context. He urged instead that the observations of his academic and churchmen forebears should be twinned to a more professionally developed Orientalism, such as would more effectively service an empire contending with Islam as its primary threat.

Keywords:   Snouck Hurgronje, Holland, orthopraxy, Islam, Netherlandic Indies, populist mysticism, Muslim teachers, legalistic scholarship, Orientalism

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