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Sultans, Shamans, and Saints

Sultans, Shamans, and Saints: Islam and Muslims in Southeast Asia

Howard M. Federspiel
Copyright Date: 2007
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    Sultans, Shamans, and Saints
    Book Description:

    By the fourteenth century the Islamic faith had spread via maritime trade routes to Southeast Asia where, over the next seven hundred years, it would have a continuing influence on political life, social customs, and the development of the arts. Sultans, Shamans, and Saints looks at Islam in Southeast Asia during four major eras: its arrival (to 1300), the first flowering of Islamic identity (1300–1800), the era of imperialism (1800–1945), and the era of independent nation-states (1945–2000). Ranging across the humanities and social sciences, this balanced and accessible work emphasizes the historical development of Southeast Asia’s accommodation of Islam and the creation of its distinctive regional character. Each chapter opens with a general background summary that places events in the greater Asian/Southeast Asian context, followed by an overview of prominent ethnic groups, political events, customs and cultures, religious factors, and art forms. Sultans, Shamans, and Saints will be of great value to students and researchers specializing in the study of Islam and the comparative study of Muslim societies and culture. It will also be useful to those with a world-systems approach to the study of history and globalization.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6452-1
    Subjects: Sociology, Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Maps
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    On a Sunday evening, when returning from a day at Brastagi, a mountain retreat in the interior of North Sumatra, one would have seen two meaningful phenomena unfolding. The first consisted of heavy activity at the fruit and vegetable assembly points in hilltop villages, where agriculturalists brought their products for delivery to the markets on the coast, particularly to Singapore. There was a hubbub as goods were unloaded from local conveyances into small trucks, which then drove with breathtaking speed down the precipitous mountain roads to the port at Belawan, whence small boats moved the goods rapidly on to their...

  6. 1 Muslim Wayfarers (600 A.D.–1300)
    (pp. 7-21)

    A convenient way of beginning a study of Islam in Southeast Asia is to focus on the sea routes that crossed the Indian Ocean and, in one sense, tied the various civilizations of Asia to one another. Those sea routes, with the Indian Ocean as their center, allowed ships from as far west as the Red Sea to cross the northern stretches of the ocean, which fronted much of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, past Ceylon, through the Malay-Indonesian world as far as China to the East. There were also side routes from the Middle East to the...

  7. 2 The Emergence of a Hybrid Muslim Culture (1300–1800)
    (pp. 22-88)

    In this era the sea routes continued to link the civilizations of Asia, although there was fluctuation in their use. The downfall of the Sung dynasty in China and the Abbasids in the Middle East curtailed trade, while the rise of the Ming in China, the Dehli Sultanate in India, and the Il-Khanid Mongols in the Middle East strengthened trade route usage. Despite this fluctuation, the trade routes developed considerably during this period and were a greater international economic and cultural asset than they had been earlier. Now, the Muslims also continued to use them—incidentally, for their first purpose...

  8. 3 The Emergence of New Muslim Institutions (1800 to 1945)
    (pp. 89-158)

    The Napoleonic Wars at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries were a watershed for European influence and dominance in the Muslim Zone of Southeast Asia. In the eighteenth century the Dutch Company dominated the entire area, with minor competition from the Spanish and British, and occasional forays on the part of the Americans, French, and other Europeans. The poor political position of the Dutch in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars, however, gave Great Britain opportunity to change the political and trade environment to its advantage, which was consolidated over the next century. At the same...

  9. 4 Nation-States and Civil Values (1945–2000)
    (pp. 159-240)

    The three regions of Asia endured, but with different political configurations and changed economic importance due to the shifts in international power relationships. Petroleum was king during this era, and the presence of large amounts of it in certain parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia gave added importance to those regions. The Cold War between “East” and “West” produced pressures on the new nations of the Asian region, and they divided between the two camps. The new nations that arose had to define themselves both to their own peoples and to others.

    The Middle East entered this period...

  10. 5 Themes of Southeast Asian Islam
    (pp. 241-256)

    Nine historical institutions relating to the Muslim Zone of Southeast Asia have been selected for further consideration at this point. These institutions were chosen because they are most representative of a wider range of institutions that existed historically in the Muslim Zone.

    This first level of the political system was a blend of three different political systems covered extensively earlier in this book. Consequently, the sultanate was not a common institution, but varied according to whether the original system had grown out of a vassal, hierarchy, or community model. But many commonalities arose, and it will be considered here as...

  11. Postscript
    (pp. 257-258)

    It is tempting to add a section to the foregoing study that would deal with recent events in Southeast Asia affecting the Muslim Zone. Since the year 2000, economic conditions have been in a state of recovery from the 1997 economic crisis. Politically, al-Qaidah has shown its success in penetrating organizations throughout the zone, instigated “terrorism” at Bali and Jakarta, and flexed its influence in the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Also politically, Indonesia and Malaysia are experiencing regime change, with the more difficult alterations occurring in Indonesia, where Islam has been a large issue in two election campaigns and the...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 259-262)
  13. Glossary
    (pp. 263-266)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 267-292)
  15. Index
    (pp. 293-298)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 299-300)