Jochem van den Boogert
Situated at the crossroads of religious studies, anthropology, history, and philosophy of science, my research focuses on the academic study and representation of culture, religion and tradition, specifically in non-Western cultures.
My PhD research focuses on the concept “Javanese Islam”, one of the constitutive concepts of Javanese Studies. This notion is surrounded by a number of theoretical problems, suggesting it misrepresents the Javanese religious condition. Through a conceptual genealogy I show how their conceptualisation is part of a Western project of making sense of Javanese culture. However, the origin of the twin-concepts “Javanese Islam” and “Javanism” does not lie in the West’s ambitions for colonial dominance. Rather, they are pieces of Christian theology. The West’s preoccupation with religion compelled it to recognise certain Javanese traditions as elements of a Javanese religion. Thus came ngelmu to be seen as its core beliefs and slametan as its central ritual. This representation however is not supported by empirical evidence or theoretical proof. If, as my research suggests, syncretist Javanese Islam is actually an experiential entity in the experiential world of the West, new research questions arise. Is there an alternative approach to gain insight into Java’s traditions? Prima facie evidence suggests the same approach is fruitful for analysing the study of other regions in Southeast Asia.
Courses taught: “Theories and Issues in Area Studies” and “Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia”. A central aim is to aid the students in properly understanding and critically assessing scholarly texts, and in developing and formulating their own thoughts and arguments on the treated subjects.
2015 - 2016, Leiden University, LIAS: lecturer
2014 - 2015, Leiden University, LIAS: Teaching and Research Assistant (O.O.M.)
2011 - 2015, Leiden University, LIAS: PhD student
2001 - 2005, Ghent University, Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap: Affiliated Researcher
1998, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Master after Master in Cultural Sciences (cum laude)
1997, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Master in Philosophy (cum laude)
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