From Wali Songo to Televangelists: Changes in Visuality and Orality in Javanese Islam

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2022
Authors
Antonio, Jordan Miller
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Andaya, Barbara
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Asian Studies
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The intersection of media and religion is a relatively new phenomenon in contemporary society, but often embodies the most important aspects of successful proselytization: charisma, orality, and entertainment. In Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, conveying a religious message in ways that will capture an audience’s attention is central in any explanation of the widespread popularity of televangelism over the past several decades. The preachers who have embraced these new techniques of proselytization, commonly referred to as da’i or ustadz(ah), while affirming their own Islamic commitment, and seeking to strengthen the faith of fellow believers, are celebrities in every sense of the word. Many own their own companies and invest in products that they believe will produce spiritual as well as material wealth, which becomes an extension of their religious outreach. The use of oral and visual expression to convey religious messages has a long history in Indonesia, but has found new pathways through technology and social media . In examing the teachings and presentation style of four popular preachers in Indonesia: Mamah Dedeh, Aa Gym, Tan Mei Hwa, and Muhammad Syafii Antonio, the thesis shows how this new style of technology-based preaching reflects the historical spread of Islam to the region and makes predictions for the future of digital dakwah.
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Southeast Asian studies, Islamic studies, Digital Dakwah, Indonesia, Islamic Entrepreneurship, Islamic Televangelism, Popular Preachers, Syari'a Economics
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199 pages
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