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The Making of Buddhism in Modern Indonesia

South and Southeast Asian Networks, 1900-1959

290 pages
Amsterdam University Press
"This book explores the making of Buddhism in modern Indonesia. Buddhism started a second life during the turbulent years of late colonial and independent Indonesia. This study argues that Buddhism re-emerged as the result of key local actors and transnational networks, in which both women and men had leading roles. Modern Buddhism brought together and into conflict the many ethnicities, nationalities and schools of Buddhism present in Indonesia. Chinese-Indonesian communities, European society, Theosophists and international Theravada Buddhist organisations took the lead in rooting Buddhism firmly in Indonesia. Budding Buddhist networks engaged with the growing sense of nationalism and modernity in the Dutch colony. Newly founded Buddhist organisations generated new forms of knowledge production and transformed Indonesian Buddhist practices, material cultures and literature, thereby bringing together Buddhism in Indonesia and global Buddhism. After exploring Buddhism revival in the colonial period, this study examines how Buddhism continued to develop in post-independence Indonesia. It shows the crucial role of inter-Asian Buddhist networks and the continued growth of Indonesian Buddhist organisations in 1950s. From its smaller niche in late colonial period, Buddhism reached switfly branched out widely across independent Indonesia’s ethnic communities."
Author Bio
Yulianti is a lecturer in the Department of History, Faculty of Cultural Science at the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She also teaches at the Center for Religions and Cross-Cultural Studies at the same university's graduate school.