Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book: The Pesantren Tradition

Pesantren is the Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia. The term pesantren derives from the root word santri or student - pe-santri-an or the place of the santri. In the pesantren system, there are several interconnected elements. The first is the kiai, the main factor through whom the pesantren system is established. Secondly, there are the santri, that is the students who learn Islamic knowledge from the kiai. The third element is the pondok, a dormitory system provided by the kiai to accommodate his students.

The pesantren has played an important role in Indonesia because it is the oldest system of learning and education. It was the primary educational system in Java prior to 1900, and it continues to play a vital role both in education and in the social, cultural, and religious lives of Javanese and other Indonesians. Before the modern education system was introduced by the Dutch, the pesantren was the only educational institution available in Indonesia.

Zamakhsyari Dhofier, with his The Pesantren Tradition: A Study of the Role of the Kyai in the Maintenance of the Traditional Ideology of Islam in Java (1980), was the first to provide a comprehensive study of the pesantren tradition in Java and Madura. The translation and publication of Dhofier’s study in Indonesian has made wide-spread the understanding of the pesantren world


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