Muslim and Catholic Pilgrimage Practices: Explorations Through Java, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Muslim and Catholic Pilgrimage Practices

Explorations Through Java, 1st Edition

By Albertus Bagus Laksana


270 pages

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Exploring the distinctive nature and role of local pilgrimage traditions among Muslims and Catholics, Muslim and Catholic Pilgrimage Practices draws particularly on south central Java, Indonesia. In this area, the hybrid local Muslim pilgrimage culture is shaped by traditional Islam, the Javano-Islamic sultanates, and the Javanese culture with its strong Hindu-Buddhist heritage. This region is also home to a vibrant Catholic community whose identity formation has occurred in a way that involves complex engagements with Islam as well as Javanese culture. In this respect, local pilgrimage tradition presents itself as a rich milieu in which these complex engagements have been taking place between Islam, Catholicism, and Javanese culture. Employing a comparative theological and phenomenological analysis, this book reveals the deeper religio-cultural and theological import of pilgrimage practice in the identity formation and interaction among Muslims and Catholics in south central Java. In a wider context, it also sheds light on the larger dynamics of the complex encounter between Islam, Christianity and local cultures.


"This finely crafted ethnography reminds us of the rich cultural traditions of Java, and its historical ability to constantly adapt to, absorb, and transform influences from outside. It also represents an important contribution to contemporary reality when pointing to ingredients that can be utilized in countering forces that seek to challenge the historical fabric of community in Java, and to provide the bases of reconciliation where tears have already appeared."

Joost Coté, Monash University

About the Author

Albertus Bagus Laksana, PhD (Boston College, 2011) is on the faculty at Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; he is also a visiting lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA. His previous publications (both in English and Indonesian) and research interests include various areas such as Christian-Muslim comparative theology, Asian theology, history of mission, religious pluralism, and encounters between religion and culture.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Pilgrimage, Religious Travel and Tourism

The public prominence of religion has increased globally in recent years, while places associated with religion, such as pilgrimage centers, and famous cathedrals, temples and shrines, have attracted growing numbers of visitors and media attention. Such developments are part of a global process where different forms of travel – physical movement such as labor and lifestyle migration, tourism of various forms, the cultural heritage industry and pilgrimage – have become a major feature of the modern world. These translocal and transnational processes involve flows of not just people but also material objects, ideas, information, images and capital.

The public prominence of religion aligned to the modern growth of tourism (sometimes now claimed as the world’s single largest industry) has created a new dynamic relationship between religion, travel and tourism. It has been mirrored by expanding academic research in these areas over the last twenty years across a variety of disciplinary areas, ranging from anthropology, sociology, geography, history and religious studies to newly emergent areas such as tourism and migration studies. Such studies have also expanded exponentially in terms of the geographic spread of places, religions and regions being researched.

This series provides a new forum for studies based around these themes, drawing together research on the relationships between religion, travel and tourism. These include studies from global and cross-cultural perspectives of topics, such as:

  • commoditization and consumerism;
  • media representations of religion, travel and tourism;
  • heritage, tourism and the cultural politics of religious representation;
  • gender, sexuality and religious movements;
  • religion and travel writing;
  • ideological and violent struggles over religion and resistance to tourist intrusion;
  • inter-religious engagement;
  • religion, tourism, landscape and performance; and
  • thanatourism and pilgrimage to sites of suffering.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Theology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies