Julian Millie


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Personal profile


I am an anthropologist with a specialisation in the political and social meanings of Islamic practice in Indonesia. In my view, the embodied routines of Islamic life in Indonesia are underestimated for their importance in explaining political and social life more generally. My major projects have focussed on: an intercession ritual popular in West Java; Islamic preaching and everyday life; commemoration of sub-national Islamic legacies, and; the distinctive meanings of practice in times of rapid change. 

My most recent publication is 'Grave visiting (Ziyara) in Indonesia', which I co-wrote with Lewis Mayo. Lewis and I are very interested in the ways in which the participatory patterns emerging in pilgrimage to sacred sites do not match the general patterns of public religion in Indonesia. Mt Kawi, near Malang in East Java, is visited by Muslims, Christians, followers of Chinese religions, and followers of Javanese spirituality. We trace out the conditions that enable this, and the ways in which partitipation at the site departs from the broader public narrative of religion in Indonesia. Our entry point to this research was the work of Im Yang Tju (Tan Hong Boen), who published an extraordinary work about Gunung Kawi in Chinese in 1953. 

My most recent publication (but one) is ‘An Anthropological Approach to the Islamic Turn in Indonesia’s Regional Politics,’ published in TRaNS: Trans –Regional and –National Studies of Southeast Asia 6:2 (2018). This article represents my thinking on how we should understand the relationship between everyday Islamic life and the Shariah regulations that have emerged in Indonesia over the last fifteen or so years. Having spent so much time participating in the routines of everyday Islamic life, I think that relationship is not well understood. I am very grateful to my friends at TRANS for publishing this articleI am very happy to send a PDF of the article to anyone wishing to read it.



Research area keywords

  • Anthropology of Indonesia
  • Ritual
  • Religion
  • Islamic Culture and Society
  • Cultures of Indonesian Islam

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2007 2022

Research Output 2001 2019

Grave visiting (Ziyarah) in Indonesia

Millie, J. & Mayo, L., 2019, Muslim Pilgrimage in the Modern World. Rahimi, B. & Eshaghi, P. (eds.). Chapel Hill North Carolina USA: The University of North Carolina Press, p. 183-204 19 p. (Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

An Anthropological Approach to the Islamic Turn in Indonesia's Regional Politics

Millie, J., 1 Jul 2018, In : TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia. 6, 2, p. 207-226 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Mediated publicness and Islamic modernity in Indonesia

Millie, J. P., 2018, Modern Times in southeast Aisa, 1920s-1970s. Protschky, S. & van den Berge, T. (eds.). Leiden Netherlands: Brill, Vol. 310. p. 39-56 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Conclusion: Religious and political terrain of the monologic imagination

Tomlinson, M. & Millie, J. P., 2017, The Monologic Imagination. Tomlinson, M. & Millie, J. (eds.). New York NY USA: Oxford University Press, p. 259-267 9 p. (Oxford Studies in the Anthropology of Language).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

Ethnic Islamic legacies in the Indonesian present

Millie, J. P., 2017, Hasan Mustapa: Ethnicity and Islam in Indonesia. Millie, J. (ed.). 1st ed. Clayton VIC Australia: Monash University Publishing, p. 239-266 28 p. (Vernacular Indonesia Series).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review