Javanese Hinduism

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Until the collapse of the Majapahit empire and the rise of Islam in the 16th century ce, the Indonesian country of Java was ruled for over a thousand years by a series of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Hinduism, and particularly Śaivism, had been introduced from India through trade in the first centuries ce, but achieved popular dissemination in the medieval period through the creation of Old Javanese versions of the Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata, and an extensive temple-building programme. Since the 1960s there has been a Hindu revival, drawing on the historical predisposition of many Javanese to follow Hindu practices while maintaining a nominal Muslim identity.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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