The Dynamic of Javanese Religious Orientation: Early Twentieth Century of Javanese Epistemology

Title : THE DYNAMIC OF JAVANESE RELIGIOUS ORIENTATION (Early Twentieth Century of Javanese Epistemology)
Author : Ary Budiyanto (CRCS, 2004)
Keywords : Javanese – Religions; Javanese – Epistemology
This thesis studies the important scene of the Javanese epistemology. In the late of nineteenth century and the dawn of the twentieth century, Javanese epistemology evolution was signaled by reformist Islam entering local-traditional of Islamic orthodoxy added by the infiltrating of ‘secular’ worldviews (i.e. humanism, nationalism) and Christianity. The coming of reformist Islam and Christianity (in which many of this Christianity were reformist too) made the traditional epistemology of Javanese bifurcate into three mainstreams: the realm outside the traditional Islam and the Islamic-Court is known as the Abangan realm, and the realm of inside the spectrum of the Courts known as the Priyayism realm. Although, the courts epistemology or priyayism is still embedded within Javanese Sufi epistemology [Islam Jawa] it regards, by the reformist santri, as uniquely a ‘Javanese worldview’.
Thus, the discourse of Islam reformist, Christian missionaries, and modern worldviews [secular humanism and theosophy] made the Javanese to re-cultivate their own understanding of the nature of being Javanese. Subsequent to the depiction of the narration of the late nineteenth century epistemologies of Javanese I will comparatively addresses Samin, Sadrach, and Rifai’, as each “spiritually inspired” Javanese fights for their dignity and identity in the shadow of their belief-system in the midst of the discourses. From there, I attempt to seize the problematical issues of their essentialism acts in identifying and defining their religiosity and ethnicity. In short, this paper tries to shed a light on the constellation of present Javanese religiosity by seeking the nineteenth century riddles. The point of this paper is to reach an understanding the layers of the emerging of the many local religious movements that occurred in twentieth century Java.