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The Makings of Indonesian Islam:
Orientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past
Michael Laffan

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"This book offers an original reflection on the factors that have contributed to the faces of Islam in Indonesia today. It is fascinating, and brilliant in the lines of argument and interplay of themes that it develops, and despite the liveliness, at times playfulness of style, is dense and closely argued in its texture. . . . [T]his is a wonderful book."--Anthony H. Johns, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

"Lafffan's very rich account . . . [is] an original and richly detailed contribution to writing the history of an Indonesian Islam."--Carool Kersten, Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania

"Laffan displays great erudition throughout the volume. . . . The overriding impression left with the reader is that Laffan is right on top of all the relevant literature as well as diverse disciplines: history, theology, and mysticism in both Indonesia and the Arab world. This study will provide a benchmark for future scholarship for some time to come, and deservedly so."--Peter G. Riddell, Journal of Islamic Studies

"Michael F. Laffan has written a dense, very informative and very inspiring book that should be required reading for anyone who wants to deal with Islam in Indonesia and the Netherlands Orientalism."--Stephan Conermann, Sehepunkte

"This dense historical narrative, providing a wealth of examples, will be of interest to scholars of Islam, Southeastern Asia, and Sufism. While primarily directed at well seasoned scholars, the volume would be palatable to graduate students as well."--Lavinia Stan, European Legacy

"This book should be mandatory reading for anyone committed to nuanced reconstruction of the social history of Islamic movements and Christianity in insular Southeast Asia."--Christopher M. Joll, Mission Studies


"This book is a major contribution to our understanding of Indonesian Islam. Laffan's methodical and exhaustive research provides us with a well of information and insights that will be mined by scholars and students for years to come. The Makings of Indonesian Islam establishes a new benchmark for scholarship on the subject."--Barbara Watson Andaya, coauthor of A History of Malaysia

"The Makings of Indonesian Islam is the best available overview of Islam in the Netherlands East Indies. Laffan offers an original and exciting way of studying the subject."--Nico Kaptein, coeditor of Transcending Borders: Arabs, Politics, Trade, and Islam in Southeast Asia

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File created: 4/24/2017

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