The Aesthetic Feeling in Javanese Islam

Sulaiman Dufford, Zahid Emby


Our examination of Javanese Islam has attempted 1) to assess aesthetics as a major component of religious revelation, 2) to establish aesthetic elements as major factors in motivating religious conversion into Islam for the Javanese (or others), and 3) to delineate aesthetic elements as stimulants to subsequent spiritual growth for the born-Muslims. We attempt to describe a highly sophisticated sensitivity to aesthetic elements within their religious rites and rituals among the village Javanese, along with sometimes eloquent expressions of these understandings. Hopefully, our results will serve to inspire further studies of aesthetic rather than theological validation of Revealed or Prophetic Knowledge, a form of cognition and knowledge long familiar to traditional religious cultures that is now coming to be considered a valid form of reality even in the western world, by such influential scholars as Leo Strauss.

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Asian Culture and History   ISSN 1916-9655(Print)   ISSN 1916-9663 (Online)   Email:

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