Meet the Author: George Quinn in conversation at the Asia Bookroom

Bandit Saints of Java by George Quinn
Bandit Saints of Java by George Quinn
We are really pleased that our author, George Quinn will be chatting about his book, the Bandit Saints of Java at the Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia. Author George Quinn in Conversation with James Fox  Bandit Saints of Java How Java’s Eccentric Saints are Challenging Fundamentalist Islam in Modern Indonesia An evening not to be missed – this book is a timely contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of religious change in the deep heart of modern Indonesia. Thursday 21st February | 6-8pm| Asia Bookroom RSVP: books@asiabookroom.com Or visit the event page here. The pilgrimage culture on the island of Java in Indonesia is a rebuke to the conservative orthodoxy that has been gaining ground in Indonesia’s religious landscape since the 1980s. In the rhetoric of this orthodoxy the “real” Islam is pure and exclusive. Piety comes from obedience to religious authority and its rules. Local pilgrimage is anything but pure and exclusive or rigidly authoritarian. It is powerfully Islamic but it fuses Islam with local history, the ancient power of place and a pastiche of devotional practices with roots deep in the pre-Islamic past. Quietly but tenaciously – just outside the great echo chamber of public space – it is growing as fast as the higher profi le neo-orthodoxy. Bandit Saints of Java is a work of nonfiction that delves deep under the surface of modern Indonesia, exploring personalities and stories in the wacky world of local pilgrimage. It paints an astonishing portrait of Islam as it is practised today – largely invisible to journalists, scholars and tourists – by many of the 130 million people of Java. Bandit Saints of Java is insightful, poignant, factually informative and sometimes provocative. It brings Java’s history and grassroots religious practices vividly to life. With the emotionally-charged issue of religion likely to be prominent in Indonesia’s forth-coming presidential and legislative elections (to be held April 17), Bandit Saints of Java is a timely contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of religious change in the deep heart of modern Indonesia.    George Quinn is Honorary Professor at ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific. His research interests include: modern literature in the Javanese language, and Islam in Java and Madura, especially patterns and sites of pilgrimage. He is the author of The Novel in Javanese and the popular Learners Dictionary of Todays Indonesian.  James Fox is Professor Emeritus at the ANU with a world-wide reputation for his studies on the people of Rote and Timor in Indonesia, and the anthropology of place across the Austronesian region. He has also published on saints and sacred tombs in Java, as well as environmental issues in modern Indonesia.