John Bowen Ethnography, Muslims Through Discourse Essays

1117 Words Dec 15th, 2015 null Page
John Bowen ethnography, Muslims through Discourse, takes a deep look at the Islam Religion in the Gayo highlands located in Indonesia. Although he desires to investigate the social structure and history, through his field work he examines the local forms of Islam. Bowen constructs two categories to define the ideologies of Islam represented, which are traditionalist (stemming from rural communities) and modernist (rooted in urban society). Each have distinctive histories that influence and shape their values. Through analyzing the Gayo people’s debates about religious practices, he highlights the importance of religious discourse and language instead of emphasizing Geertz dramaturgical theory. Bowen uses the theoretical framework of discourse and power constructed by Foucault to analyze the role of language in religious practices, as well as Bourdieu and Weber to understand how these discourses have embedded the Gayo social structure. To begin with, related to Foucault’s ideas on written works, text is essential to the way religion is formulated, thought of, and understood. The text create discourse. The historical writing found within education, previous scholars and commentators, and especially the Qur’an created religious discourse and specific ideologies. Bowen asserts the importance of text and language through sharing its significant in the life of Tengku Asaliddin, his religious teacher. His teacher received his schooling from Muhammadiya where the Arabic language…

Related Documents