Javanese Mysticism - De Balie x Holland Festival
Mysticism and magic make up an essential part of Indonesian society. Both phenomena influence daily rituals as well as the way how the dominant religion, Islam, is practiced. What is the role of mysticism in Indonesian daily life? And how does it function as a force against Islamic fundamentalism?
The recent conviction of Ahok, governor of Jakarta, for blasphemy, is according to some people an example of how Indonesia is getting more monotheistic and less pluralistic. A country where there is less and less space for the syncretic interpretation of religion. The Pancasila, the five principles of Indonesia that work as a way to unify the country, and that propagate religious diversity, are being considered less and less important by a majority of the Indonesian population.
During this night professor of religious experience Antoon Geels will give a lecture about the origin and the different dimensions of Javanese mysticism, the mystical experience and the influence of mysticism in daily life. With the Indonesian writer Ayu Utami and filmmaker Garin Nugroho we engage in a conversation about the role of Javanese mysticism in their work and we will try to get an answer to the question how Indonesia can use the power and tradition of mysticism to guarantee pluriformity and tolerance.
Sinta Wullur & friends will perform during this night with a gamelan gadhon ensemble with the soft instruments of the orchestra: gendèr, slenthem, rebab, suling and siter. Vocals: Sinta Wullur. Musicians: Maarten van den Berg, Harry Willemsen, Renadi Santoso and Ruth Andrews.
Presentation: Chris Keulemans
Garin Nugroho is one of the leading contemporary filmmakers in Indonesia. During the Holland Festival his film Setan Jawa (Javanese devil) is shown, about a man who engages in a pact with the devil to get rich. A film interwoven with mysticism, inspired by the classical German black and white movies and wajang: Indonesian shadow puppet game that is usually accompanied by Gamelan music.
Writer Ayu Utami gained international fame with her novel The Number Fu (2008). In the book the theme mysticism in Middle – Java, or whats left of it, is central. Utami explores the intersections of monotheism, mysticism and modernism. In the novel, she presents a method to deal with the deep pluriformity that is a central trait of Indonesian society.
Professor Antoon Geels teaches religious studies at the Swedish university of Lund and wrote the book Subud and the Javanese mystical tradition.
Spoken language: English
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N E D E R L A N D S :
Mystiek en magie vormen een essentieel onderdeel van de Indonesische samenleving. Beiden beïnvloeden zowel de dagelijkse rituelen als de manier hoe men de dominante religie, Islam, beleeft en praktiseert. Wat is de rol van mystiek binnen het leven van alledag in de Indonesische archipel? En hoe fungeert mystiek als een kracht tegen Islamitisch fundamentalisme?
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