The languages of preaching: Code selection in Sundanese Islamic oratory, West Java
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2012
© 2012 Australian Anthropological Society
The Australian Journal of Anthropology
Special Issue: Interlingual Articulations in Asia and the Pacific: Figuring Sociocultural Otherness through Otherness of Linguistic Codes. Guest Editors: Alan Rumsey & Rupert Stasch.
Volume 23, Issue 3, pages 379–397, December 2012
How to Cite
Millie, J. (2012), The languages of preaching: Code selection in Sundanese Islamic oratory, West Java. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 23: 379–397. doi: 10.1111/taja.12006
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2012
- Islam in Indonesia;
- Islamic media;
- Sundanese language and identity
Why do Sundanese Muslims of West Java in certain situations prefer Islamic oratory in their regional language, Sundanese, and in others prefer the national standard, Indonesian? This article answers this question by firstly exploring different preaching outcomes that are recognised and generally accepted by Sundanese Muslims. Some preaching events are oriented pre-eminently to the communication of affect within the temporal frame of co-presence. In others, preacher and audience unite around a transformative ethos. These outcomes bear contrasting implications for code selection. Where the first outcome is desired, preachers display multivocal, heterogeneous preaching styles in which the regional language offers functional benefits. In the second, Indonesian preachers and audiences respond to the national language's indexing of transformation. The social value of transformation is a situational factor for which Indonesian is the appropriate code. In this way, code selection signals the diversity of ways of being Islamic in the West Javanese public sphere.