Based on extensive original research, this book explores the history and current revival of Buddhism on the Indonesian island of Java. Beginning by tracing how Buddhism came to Java from India via southeast Asia, it considers how Buddhism has survived and adapted as Islam and Christianity became dominant. It goes on to report on detailed anthropological research both in a remote highland community, Temanggung, and in Java’s main cities including Jakarta, showing how youth activism and close community cohesion have brought about revival. It includes an examination of the production of Buddhist wayside shrines. Throughout it shows how Buddhism in Java has fused with local traditional practices, local circumstances and trans-national processes to form a unique Javanese Buddhism.

chapter |22 pages


chapter 1|30 pages

The eternal return

A brief history of Buddhism in Java

part Section I|40 pages

From the seed of the ancestors

chapter 542|15 pages


The establishment of a “revival in the revival”

chapter 3|23 pages

Multiple revivals

Enchantment and genealogy in mountain Java

part Section II|40 pages

Ancestors revisited

chapter 944|17 pages

More Javanese, more Buddhist?

Two rites of passage

part Section III|34 pages


chapter 1346|14 pages

Uncanny stone

Statues and religious change in Java

part Section IV|36 pages

Other revivals

chapter 1688|20 pages

Entrepreneurial dharma in urban Java

chapter 9|14 pages

Aspiration and inspiration

Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia