Islam and the Changing Meaning of Spiritualitas and Spiritual in Contemporary Indonesia

Ahmad Muttaqin

Abstract


Spiritualitas, an Indonesian term derived from English word’s spirituality, and spiritual from English’s spiritual, are now commonly used in Indonesian discourses. This paper traces earliest usages of the term spiritualitas and spiritual and then explores their changing meaning in contemporary Indonesia. Unlike in the past, where Indonesian government broadly used the terms to refer indigenous mystical legacies of the Aliran Kepercayaan or Kebatinan designing them as not religion but merely cultural legacy (adat, budaya spiritual), the current usage of the terms indicates a growing trend of Indonesian world religions, mainly Islam, in absorbing and acquiring the terms as kind of religious expressions. This trend is quite different from that happen in the West; while the growing of spirituality is correlated to the declining of Western affiliation and participation in religion, mainly Christianity; in Indonesia, world religions, especially Islam, seem to be the sponsor of spirituality. Thus, instead of spirituality will silently take over religion as predicted by Jaremy Carrette and Richard King (2005), the mainstream religious groups seem to take over spirituality.

[Istilah spiritual dan spiritulitas akhir-akhir ini banyak digunakan di Indonesia, merujuk tidak hanya pada ekspresi spiritual di luar agama, namun juga yang ada dalam tradsi keagaamaan. Tulisan ini menelaah awal mula penggunaan istilah spiritual dan spiritualitas dalam khazanah literatur pasca kemerdekaan serta fase-fase perubahan makna dari istilah tersebut pada masa-masa sesudahnya. Pada fase awal, pemerintah Indonesia secara massif menggunakan istilah spiritual untuk menunjuk tradisi keberagamaan di luar agama-agama resmi yang berbasis pada mistisisme agama-agama lokal seperti Aliran Kepercayaan dan Kebatinan. Hal ini mengisyaratkan bahwa istilah spiritual tersebut digunakan untuk menekankan bahwa tradisi beragamaan lokal tersebut bukan agama, hanya warisan budaya atau adat istiadat. Namun, kecenderangan baru sejak akhir 1990an hingga saat ini menunjukkan bahwa agama-agama resmi, terutama Islam, secara massif telah menggunakan istilah spiritual maupun spiritualitas sebagai padanan dari ekspresi batin keberagamaan (inner religious expression). Trend semacam ini cukup unik bila dibandingkan dengan yang terjadi di Barat, sebab tumbuh suburnya gerakan spiritual di Barat terjadi pada saat menurunnya tingkat afiliasi publik terhadap agama-agama besar, terutama Kristen; sedangkan di Indonesia agama-agama besar dunia, terutama Islam, menjadi sponsor utama populernya istilah spiritual dan spiritualitas serta munculnya gerakan-gerakan spiritual berbasis agama. Oleh karena itu, prediksi Jaremy Carrete dan Richard King yang menyatakan “pengambil alihan peran agama oleh spiritualitas” sebagaimana yang terjadi di dunia Barat, tidak terjadi di Indonesia. Sebaliknya, yang terjadi di Indonesia adalah agama-agama besar dunia telah mengambil alih peran dan fungsi spiritualitas.]


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14421/ajis.2012.501.23-56

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