Submitting to God
Women and Islam in Urban Malaysia
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In recent decades, Malaysia has been profoundly changed both by forces of globalization, modernization, and industrialization and by a strong Islamization process. Some would argue that the situation of Malay women has worsened, but such a conclusion is challenged by this study of the everyday religious practice of pious women within Kuala Lumpur's affluent Malay middle class. Here, women play an active part in the Islamization process, not only by heightened personal religiosity but also by organizing and participating in public programs of religious education.
- Published: 2009
- Subject Listing: Asian Studies / Southeast Asia; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- Bibliographic information: 252 pp., 6 x 9 in.
- Territorial rights: North America Only
- Series: Critical Dialogues in Southeast Asian Studies
By organizing new forms of collective ritual and assuming new public roles as religious teachers, these religiously educated women are transforming the traditionally male-dominated gendered space of the mosque and breaking men's monopoly over positions of religious authority. Exploring this situation, Submitting to God challenges preconceptions of the nature of Islamization as well as current theories of female agency and power.
Sylva Frisk is a lecturer in the School of Global Studies at Gothenburg University, Sweden.
"One of the distinctive features of this wonderfully researched ethnography is its insightful analysis of the religiosity and spiritual development of urban Malay women who had participated in the Islamization process in Malaysian society. Submitting to God will undoubtedly add to the debates on the anthropology of difference, gender and religion, and gender and Islam."
-Sharifah Zaleha Syed Hassan, Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Preface and Acknowledgments
2. Islamization in Malaysia
3. Submission to God requires knowledge
4. Religious duties and acts of worship
5. Transforming rituals: Claiming public religious space
6. Becoming mukmin
7. Conclusion: Feminism, anthropology and agency