Faculty Publications

David Harnish

Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia


Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia brings together the work of 11 international scholars into an unprecedented volume focused on religion and performance in a nation celebrated for its extraordinary arts, religious diversity, and natural beauty. The resulting collection provides a panoramic view of Indonesia's Islamic arts in a variety of settings and communities. Together the authors address how history, politics, spirituality, and gender are expressed through performance and how Indonesian Islamic culture intersects with the ideology and practice of nationalism.

Unique and engaging, Divine Inspirations will fascinate readers interested in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Islam, world religions, global discourse, and music, arts and ritual.


"Absolutely essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the complex diversity of music in Indonesia today." -- R. Anderson Sutton, School of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Divine Inspirations illustrates and confounds the perennially contested line between religion and culture in Islam. This pioneering volume reanimates Islamic studies in Indonesia and beyond by revealing the many performative paths to the divine." -- Engseng Ho, author of The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean

"The influence of Islam on the arts has long been overlooked in Western studies of contemporary Indonesia. This timely and original book changes that entirely. It will become the standard for the study of the arts in Indonesia and a model for similar studies in the broader Muslim world." -- Robert Hefner, director, Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University

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