"Both Indonesianists and scholars of ritual should consider this book a "must read" for its richly detailed account of how rituals are practice, invented, altered, and interpreted in a highly charged political context." Journal of Ritual Studies
"...and the book's engaging portrayal of religious change coupled with the clarity of its presentation overall make it a valuable resource for understanding patterns diversity amoung religious traditions of Southern Asia." Anna M. Gade, The Journal Of Asian Studies
Java is famous for its combination of diverse cultural forms and religious beliefs. In this most comprehensive study of Javanese religion since Clifford Geertz's classic study, Andrew Beatty considers Javanese solutions to problems of cultural difference, and how villagers make sense of their complex, multi-layered culture. Pantheist mystics, supernaturalists, orthodox Muslims and Hindu converts at once construct contrasting faiths and create a common ground through syncretist ritual. Vividly evoking the local religious life, this book probes beyond the surface of ritual and cosmology, revealing the compromise inherent in practical religion.