Talk:Santri

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This must also have a meaning of students at the Pesantren, as it is mentioned there and is the definition given in the Indonesian article. Can somebody add a characterization of the relationship, preferably with sources? Rigadoun (talk) 23:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

A mention in the Indonesian article is no justification to write something in the English article as a general statement WP ID is almost completely unreferenced. Merbabu 08:34, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
furthermore, are not references mandatory, rather than preferable. regards Merbabu 08:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


point of controversy[edit]

The meaning and use of the term santri is disputed among scholar. Geertz (1960) established the trichotomy of santri, abangan, and priyayi. It became paradigmatic until the works of Robert Hefner (1990) and Mark Woodward (1989). The very exsitence of the three categories at the time of Geertz' research is disputed. Less disputed is the fact that they have little meaning today.

Today Santri means primiariliy a student at a pesantren and by extension applies to the kinds of people who have studied as such instituions. While at the time of Geertz's research it was the case that many Muhammadiyyah people have pesantren backgrounds, today they do not. So while Geertz could talk about modernist Santri and traditionalist santri, today only the latter exist and are more commonly called by themselve and others orang pesantren or pesantren people.

Because the opening chapter of my book Lukens-Bull (2005) addresses this controversy, it may not be appropriate for me to update this stub. However, I think I have laid out the issues and the relevant sourcdes. Let me know if you need full bibliogrpahic data. Dr. Lukens-Bull 18:53, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate there is much controversy surrounding these terms - it gets worse when one tries to explain them in terms of traditionalists and modernists, orthodox, syncretic, etc. Only knowing the tiniest bit about pesantran I'm not familiar with the use of the word santri to mean a student of the schools. On the other hand, I've got many contemporary texts that use them in terms of defining a group of Muslims in society in general who practise a more orthodox form of Islam. While I'm not disputing your definition at all (indeed it could be mentioned) I wouldn't support any removal of the term as it currently stands. Unless of course there is a convincing case why the broader definition (ie, non-pesantren) that I, and I suspect others, are more familiar with, is invalid.
It's probably a fair point to say that the terms don't have any practical meaning today, but the categories are conceptual and are required certainly for historical understandings, if not the current situation also.
Merbabu 20:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
The only argument is that on-the-ground today it only means those who have pesantren backgrounds. The term does not include Muhammadiya and other "Modernists" as it is used by Indonesians on the street. Those who have read Geertz and want to use his terms theologically to argue that other forms of Islamic practice are invalid also use in the way that the article defines it. And I would say that because I am a stakeholder in the debate, that others should rewrite this piece. Dr. Lukens-Bull 23:09, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
A few points:
  • Firstly, since my last post I looked into the 'santri' = 'pesantran student' and I found plenty on it. Also, concurrently I reconfirmed the definition (ie, santri vs. abangan) that I am more familiar with. In fact, at least two of my texts use BOTH definitions, including one that specifically deals with both definitions (ie, Ricklefs, for example, who specifically mentions that pesantren students are called santri, and concurrently uses the terms "abangan {nominal} Muslim" and "Santri {strict} Muslim").
  • I think the obvious solution is to mention the fact that there is 'controversy' or at least variations in definition. As you can see I have a vague understanding of this now, and I can do some extra reading, and make changes to the article accordingly for review/adjustment by others.
  • More broadly speaking, we need to develop how wikipedia handles the issues of abangan/santri, nominal/strict, syncretic/orthodox, modernist/traditionalist elements in Indonesian Islam. These can be loaded topics - for example, people ask why abangan Islam with its syncretic nature is called 'Traditionalist' Islam, while stricter, more orthodox practise is sometimes termed 'Modernist' - for the unintiated, this can be confusing, and a source of dispute. I’ve got a few ideas and I will try to post on them soon.
regards --Merbabu 02:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Modernist vs Traditionalist[edit]

Frist it is useful to note that these terms are glosses of the Arabic derived terms 'khalafiya and salafiyya respectively. It is also interesting to note that in other parts of the Islamic world and the Arabic world, specifically, what counts as tradition is different and so the term salafiyya points to a different set of beliefs and practices that it does in Indonesia. In Indonesian, traditonal refers to the classical or medieval practices of Islam. In the Middle East, it means the traditon of the Prophet and its based on Quran and Hadith alone. So, in the Middle East the people called Traditionalists (Salafiya) believe and practice like Indonesian Modernists (Khalifiya). For these reason, I reject their use and prefer Reformists and Classicalists. Reformist is a common alternative label in the literature. Classsicalist is my neologism and can be found in the opening chapter of my book, pages 14-17 specifically. (Again, why I cannot write these pieces, just point out the debates -- I am part of them) Dr. Lukens-Bull 17:18, 21 February 2007 (UTC)