Javanese mysticism

Garin Nugroho, Antoon Geel, Ayu Utami

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Mysticism and magic are an essential part of Indonesian society. They affect both daily rituals and how the dominant religion, Islam, is practiced. Garin Nugroho’s film Setan Jawa (‘Javanese devil’), about a man who makes a pact with the devil to become wealthy, is imbued with both themes. What is the role of mysticism in everyday life in the Indonesian archipelago? What is the difference between Indonesian and Middle eastern Islam – and what does the belief in magic contribute to this? And how does mysticism and religion bind the nation?

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