Contestations of Cyber Da’wa: Religious Authority and Digital Activism among Indonesian Ulama


Contestation of Cyber Da’wa

New media developments profoundly affect da’wa and other religious activities of Indonesian Muslims. New religious activities range from the distribution of religious ideas through online sermons to personal guidance by means of so-called 'spiritual charging'. These practices provide new challenges for Indonesian Islamic groups as the new digital practices frequently counter or circumvent traditional religious hierarchy and authority. To analyze the contestations in Indonesian cyberspace, I conduct in-depth interviews with activists and practitioners and I employ several anthropological methods in combination with what Kozinets calls 'netnography'. The research is supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs.