Fighting the Fire-red Dragon: The Rise and Teachings of the Salamullah-movement in Contemporary Indonesia

Project: Dissertation

Project Details

Layman's description

The project treats new religious movement Salamullah, established in Jakarta at the end of the 1990-ies. The movement has no ready-made ideology but is open towards impulses. In the Indonesian multi-religious context Islam is integrated with Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other traditions to a continuously developed praxis. I have conducted 4 field studies and follow Salamullah on the Web.

This dissertation project is combining religious anthropology (field works) with textual analysis in the new religious movement Salamullah in Jakarta. The movement, led by Lia Aminuddin, is from its outset Muslim but has during the years adopted a more ‘indonesian’ style: Salamullah combines the religions officially accepted in Indonesia to a unique mixture. To the same extent, political and social events as well as Indonesian mythology are integrated into the teachings. Religious content is developing very dynamically and the movement has during the years been in open conflict with religious authorities and institutions.
The dissertation contains translations and analyses of religious texts, images, homepages and songs, produced by the movement. It also treats the from time to time intense media coverage that has been sparked. Through participating observation during four field works I have studied the movement, its rituals as much as the daily life of its members through personal interaction. At these occasions I have been granted access to a huge number of internal religious texts and obtained the possibility to analyse their symbolism in their cultural context of origin. Continuously following the Internet forms also an important part of my work since all material published on the webpages of the movement is accessible freely (in contrast to texts and rituals for internal use). Through the Internet I am in regular contact with the members of the movement.
Effective start/end date2001/09/012011/12/31