Writing Reformist Histories: A Cleric as an Outsider-History Maker

[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

This article argues that Southeast Asia is an illustrative yet much-neglected empirical terrain for the study of ‘‘outsider history-makers’’ and their vocations. Through an analysis of the writings of Hamka, a well-known Indonesian cleric, this article demonstrates that ‘‘outsider history-makers’’ in Southeast Asia have been engaged in the production of ‘‘reformist histories’’—a genre of popular historical works written in an alluring and captivating way to foster a rethinking of commonplace assumptions about the evolution of religious communities, the roles of reformers in society, and the place of spirituality in human history.