Contesting Sacred Architecture: Politics of ‘Nation-State’ in the Battles of Mosques in Java

Achmad Fawaid, Zamroni Zamroni, Hasan Baharun


This study aims to figure out a ‘political’ contestation of sacred mosques in Java and the ways the Javanese respond to the global architecture of the Middle Eastern Islam. By using a historical narrative method, this article describes a fact that some ‘sacred’ architectures which shaped from the national mosques became a site of battles between the modern Islamic and traditional Javanese worldviews and explores the continuum debate over architecture, culture, and power of Islam in Java through various events since the fifteenth until today. This study, finally, results in the issues related to not merely the almost unsolved dispute over modern and traditional architectures, between pan-Islamic modernists and Javanese traditionalists, but most importantly, the past stories and silent ideology behind the building of these mosques, and by doing so, it also questions our primordial understanding of nation-state.


Islam; Java; mosques; architecture

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