Paul Stange CV


books and texts

Politik Perhatian: Rasa dalam Kebudayaan Jawa, Lembaga Kajian Islam dan Sosial, Yogyakarta, 1998. xii, Pp 286. (The Politics of Attention: Intuition in Javanese Culture) second printing 2009. xxix + 366 p

Kejawen Modern: Hakikat dalam Penghayatan Sumarah, (Modern Javanism: Truth in Sumarah Practice) Lembaga Kajian Islam dan Sosial, Yogyakarta, 2009, xlviii + 394p.

Ancestral Voices in Island Asia, Murdoch U, Perth, 2000. 261 pp (textbook; first published on this site in Indonesian as: Suara nenek moyang Nusantara, LKiS, Yogya)

Asian Mystical Religions, Murdoch U, Perth. 1995. 143 pp (textbook)


The Collapse of Lineage and Availability of Gnosis Charles Strong Trust, AASR: Adelaide (1991) 22p

Selected Sumarah Teachings trans, ed, & introduced. Asian Studies: WAIT, Perth (1977) 34 pp

Sejarah Dipandang Dari Desa (ed with I Sudibyo) Laporan Jurusan Sejarah: Satyawacana, Salatiga (1972) 90p

Dukuh Kemiri: A Survey of Socio-cultural and economic conditions in a Javanese village (with MM Billah) Laporan Penelitian No 5, LPIS: Satyawacana, Salatiga (1971) 37p

book chapters

"Inner Dimensions of the Indonesian Revolution" in L Sears ed Autonomous Histories; Particular Truths CSEAS: U Wisconsin, Madison. 1993. pp 219-243

"Religious Change in Contemporary Southeast Asia" in N Tarling ed, The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Vol II, Cambridge UP, Sydney. 1992 pp 529-584

"Interpreting Javanist Millenial Imagery" in P Alexander ed. Creating Indonesian Cultures, Oceania Pubs, Sydney (1989) pp 113-134

journal articles

"Silences in Solonese Dance Production" Southeast Asian J of Social Sciences. V 22 (1994) pp 210-229

"Chronicles of Javanese Transition" J of Southeast Asian Studies. V24 N2 (1993) pp 348-363

"Constructions of 'culture' in Asian Studies and of 'Asia' in cultural studies", Asian Studies Review V 15 N 2 (1991) pp 80-88

"Deconstruction as Disempowerment: New Orientalisms of Java" Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars V 23 N 3 (1991) pp 51-71

"Javanism as Text or Praxis" Anthropological Forum Vol V I N 2 (1990) pp 237-255

"'Legitimate' Mysticism in Indonesia" Review of Indonesian and Malayan Affairs V 20 N 2 (1986) pp 76-117

"The Logic of Rasa in Java" Indonesia N 38 (1984) pp 113-134

"Mysticism: the Atomic Level of Social Science" Social Alternatives V 1 N 8 (1980) pp 70-75

"Configurations of Javanese Possession Experience" Religious Traditions V 2 N 2 (1979) pp 39-54

"Javanese Mysticism in the Revolutionary Period" J Studies in Mysticism V 1 N 2 (1978) pp 115-130

"Mystical Symbolism in Javanese Wayang Mythology" The South East Asian Review V 1 N 2 (1977) pp 109-122

"Deconstructions of Javanese Tradition as Disempowerment" Prisma No 50 (1990)

"Dekonstruksi: Sebuah Orientalisme Baru Untuk Jawa" (trans Ignas Kleden) Prisma No 2 Vol XVIII (1989). pp 3-16

"Logika Rasa di Jawa" Mawas Diri V 14 N 7- V 15 N 2 (Juli 1985-Pebruari 1986) (total 35p)

"Sumarah: Mistisisme Jawa didalam Periode Revolusi" (trans Warsito), Mawas Diri V 5 N 1 & 2 (1976) 18p

"Pemuda Barat dan Kebatinan" Cakrawala V6 N3 (1973) pp 247-262

"Tudjuan dan Tjara Penelitian di Desa" (in P Stange & I Sudibyo eds.) Sejarah Dipandang Dari Desa, Laporan Survey Jurusan Sejarah, U Satyawacana, Salatiga, 1972, pp 1-15

"Diantara Desa dan Kota: Perobahan Sosial didalam satu Dukuh" Tjakrawala V4 N2 (1971) pp 6-16

"Tjara Manunggal: ...Ketjenderungan di Amerika dan Djawa" Tjakrawala V4 N3 (1971) pp 33-41

"Probing the Inner Life of Sandgropers" Australian Religion Studies Review V 2 N 3 (1989) pp 5-14

"Rasa theory in Sumarah practice..." Anthropology News, V 21 N 7 & 8 (1984) pp 33-41

"Javanese Mysticism in the Revolutionary Period" in Conference on Modern Indonesian History, CSEA Studies, U Wisconsin, 1975, pp 171-187

"Discipline and Region in Asian Studies" ASAA Review V 9 N 3 (April 1986) pp 7-11

"Reply to Siegel and Keeler" Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, V 24 N 3 (1992) pp 57-59

"Multivalent Ethnographies..." Anthropological Forum . V 6 N 3 (1991-92) pp 364-370

ed, "Spirituality in Western Australia" Australian Religion Studies Review V 2 N 3 (1989) pp 5-34

"Religious Studies in Western Australia" Australian Religion Studies Review V 1 N 1(1988) pp 36-38

"The Anthropology of Religion" Religious Studies 3, Humanities, Deakin U, Victoria, 1986

Entries for the Encyclopedia of the World's Religions (ed Gordon Melton, pub Santa Barbara) on: Javanism, Sumarah, Pangestu, Sapta Darma

Entries for the Historical Encyclopedia of Southeast Asia (ed Ooi Keat Gin, pub Santa Barbara) on: folk religion, kebatinan movements


HAO Tollenaere, The Politics of Divine Wisdom: Theosophy and labour, national, and women's movements in Indonesia and South Asia 1875-1947. (Leiden: 1996) in J of Southeast Asian Studies. 31, 1 (2000)

M Dove, ed. The Real and Imagined Role of Culture in Development: Case Studies From Indonesia (Honolulu 1988) in ASAA Review V 13 N 3 (April 1990) pp 166-168

C Wild & P Carey, eds, Born in Fire: The Indonesian Struggle for Independence, (Athens, Ohio 1988) in Inside Indonesia , No 21 (December 1989) pp 26-27

P Gregory ed. Sudden and Gradual Approaches to Enlightenment (Honolulu 1987) in ASAA Review V 12 N 3 (April 1989) pp 100-101

Gregory ed. Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism (Honolulu 1986) in ASAA Review V 11 N 3 (April 1988) pp 131-132

R Hefner, Hindu Javanese: Tengger Tradition and Islam, (Princeton, New Jersey, 1985)in ASAA Review V 10 N 3 (April 1987) pp 177-179

WF Wertheim, "Fissures in the Girdle of Emeralds", "Moslems in Indonesia: Majority with a Minority Mentality", & "Betting on the Elites or Betting on the Poor? the Indonesian Case" Occasional Papers Nos 7, 8, 9 (James Cook University, 1980) in ASAA Review V 9 N 3 (April 1986) pp 163-164

Tham Seong Chee, Religion and Modernization (Tokyo 1984) in ASAA Review V 9 N 2 (November 1985) pp 203-205

P Hyer and S Jagchid, A Mongolian Living Buddha (Albany 1983) in ASAA Review V 8 N 1 (July 1984) pp 118-9

D Lancashire trans & ed, Chinese Essays on Religion and Faith (San Francisco 1981)in ASAA Review V 7 N 3 (April 1984) pp 123-4

T Silcock, A Village Ordination (London 1976) in ASAA Review V 1 N 3 (April 1978) pp 150-152

BJ Terweil, Monks and Magic: An Analysis of Religious Ceremonies in Central Thailand (London 1975) in ASAA Review V 1 N 3 (April 1978) pp 147-150

A Beatty, Varieties of Javanese Religion: an Anthropological Account (Cambridge 1999) for Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs


My general field is Indonesian religious history but my research has been mainly ethnographic rather than archival. It has focused on Javanese mystical movements and practices in the late twentieth century. In research and teaching I move between history, anthropology, religious studies, and cultural studies.

My PhD thesis dealt with the internal history of one movement as an exercise in micro-history and the history of consciousness. 'Sumarah', the name of the movement, is a Javanese word meaning roughly what 'islam' means in Arabic. Six years ago I reworked the manuscript, which is on the web as "The Evolution of Sumarah".

My second project focused on the politics of mysticism in Indonesia, the history of discourses about the status of mystical practices within the state. My principal conclusion on this line of work, argued within an essay on ''Legitimate Mysticism in Indonesia" (RIMA 1986) and in a chapter for The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, was that the structure of discourses about religious issues has become Islamic even when ostensibly offering scope for other religious idioms.

I have also worked on sacred sites and environmental philosophy, on conjunctions between consciousnes, spirits and nature embedded within popular Javanese Islamic practices at sacred sites. During 1997 research focused on court related sites around Parangtritis, where court and popular pilgrimage patterns build on stories from the era of the walisanga, the founders of Javanese Islam.

Most of my primary research took place first over three years, from January 1971 and February 1974, while based at Salatiga and Surakarta in Central Java. I returned to Java on average one month annually up to 1990. During the 1990s I spent five years in Java, four on secondment to administer teaching programs and another year focused on research and writing in Parangtritis. Altogether I have lived in Java 15 years. I have also used archives at Cornell University, Monash University and the Australian National Library.


My teaching experience has been consistently framed by multi-disciplinary 'Asian Studies' departments. This has meant both that I teach within several disciplines (individual courses being credited within history and anthropology frameworks at Murdoch) and that within courses I draw from and counterpoint a range of different disciplinary tools when addressing one set of issues.

Commitment to humanistic and liberal arts notions of university education has always been central to my educational mission. This is reflected in my sense that 'Asian studies' should not be viewed only as though a professional 'training ground' for specialist interpreters, business people or civil servants who intend to make a career in Asia (dominant in Australian imagination of the field), but as part of general education focused on extending understanding of what it means to be a 'human being' within an increasingly multicultural and pluralistic world. I have always seen a primary challenge of teaching about Asian 'subjects' within English speaking environments as requiring confrontation between alternative imagination of realities.

My teaching appoach is Socratic in highlighting limits to understanding and the openness of questions. It is student centered in stressing a 'smorgasbord' of possibilities within which what connects to personal knowledge matters most. I am most interested in and encourage students to engage questions which do not have simple answers. I aim to open fields of knowledge (by introducing the depth and range of issues confronted), provide tools of thought (enabling students to negotiate complex issues), and encourage extension of verbal and writing skills.

The subjects I have taught include: Southeast Asian Traditions, Indonesian Religious History, Asian Mystical Religions, Culture and Politics in Indonesia, and Comparative Religion

international studies

During the 1990s I spent four years coordinating and developing international programs. In each instance on secondment from Murdoch to run programs our students have taken in Indonesia.

From mid 1992 to mid 1994 I was Resident Director of the 'Council Study Center' in Malang, East Java. In this capacity I administered the program and taught. This involved budget responsibility and coordination for program staff, arrangements for a guest lecture program, running orientation and evaluation sessions, teaching two subjects each semester and counselling. Students in the CIEE program were roughly half Australian and half American, the latter coming from liberal arts colleges.

Subsequently, on the basis of that experience, I proposed a model for and undertook the Indonesian leg work behind establishing ACICIS (the Australian Consortium for In Country Indonesian Studies), in Yogyakarta. ACICIS draws students from member institutions throughout Australia. I became foundation Resident Director in Yogyakarta, establishing the framework for the program and administering it after leading negotiations with Indonesian instrumentalities at all levels, beginning with consolidation of an inter-governmental MOU between Australia and Indonesia to facilitate student visas.


1980-2003 Lecturer & (from 1992) Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies
Murdoch University, Perth WA

1995-96 Resident Director, ACICIS
(Australian Consortium for In Country Indonesian Studies)
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta

1992-94 Resident Director CIEE
Cooperative Southeast Asian Studies Program
State University of Malang (then IKIP Malang), East Java

1976-79 Senior Tutor & (from 1977) Lecturer in Asian Studies
CurtinUniversity of Technology (then WAIT) Perth

1973-75 PhD studies in Java & Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Madison

1971-72 Guest Staff, Lembaga Penelitian Ilmu-Ilmu Sosial
Universitas Kristen Satyawacana, Salatiga


1980 PhD University of Wisconsin (History)
thesis: The Sumarah Movement in Javanese Mysticism

1970 MA University of Wisconsin (History)
thesis: Javanese Mystical and Marxist Dialectics

1969 BA University of Wisconsin
(History, Anthropology, Asian Studies)

1970 Cornell University
(summer) intensive Javanese

1967 Yale University
(summer) intensive Indonesian