Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Facing New Models of Islamic Authority: On the (Un)Popularity of Hadhrami Preachers in Indonesia
Martin Slama

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 126
Date: 2019-07-24 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-25


The paper attempts to locate Hadhrami models of Islamic authority within a changing landscape of Islamic proselytization in Indonesia that is highly informed by the utilization of a variety of media. It asks how Hadhrami models have become adapted to these developments and to which extent Hadhrami preachers had to strike new paths to secure their place in Indonesia’s increasingly diverse Islamic field. The paper is particularly interested in Hadhrami preachers who are regular users of social media, thus following in this regard the model of the media-savvy Indonesian celebrity preacher, but who have not (yet) gained a similar status of popularity. It examines their relative unpopularity by looking at their actual preaching and social media uses and by comparing them with the outreach strategies of some of Indonesia’s most popular preachers. Seeking for a better understanding of the position of Hadhrami preachers in Indonesia’s Islamic field, the paper points out how different models of Islamic authority meet different levels of popularity and attract different audiences.