Essay On Animism

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Animism is the indigenous belief system of Indonesians and has existed in Indonesia since pre-Islamic times. When Indian merchants and traders brought Islam to Indonesia, many converted but still carried with them their animist beliefs. Hence even though almost 90% of Indonesians are Muslims (Index Mundi, 2014), many do not practice pure Islam but syncretic versions of it. Hence in this essay, I will first examine the different ways in which indigenous animist beliefs have influenced the practice of Islam in Indonesia and reasons behind it. I will then analyse how modernization has changed the extent of influence of animism on the practice of Islam in Indonesia. Defined by Edward Burneet Tylor in Primitive Culture (1871), Animism is the belief…show more content…
This is because as people get more educated, they tend to reject the animist view which would be seen as not making any scientific sense. (Tamney, 1980) Furthermore, as it is easier and cheaper to travel now, many Indonesian Muslims have a chance to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca where they will realise that they are not practicing the orthodox Islam and decided to purify their practice of the Islam and reject influences from Animism. This has also resulted in reformist movements that seeks to purify Islam practiced in Indonesia. (Houben,…show more content…
This diversity of religion in Indonesia amplifies the diversity religion in Southeast Asia. It is impossible to understand religion in Southeast Asia just be looking at the surface. Everyone comes from different background and would have different interpretation of a religion especially since Southeast Asia is a sponge of influences which absorbs all foreign influences from foreign traders and colonial

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