Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Female Preachers and Mediated Islamic Authority in Malaysia

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Marriott Balcony A, Mezzanine Level

Throughout the world, female Islamic leaders, such as preachers, religious scholars, or leaders of religious organizations, are becoming more prominent. This raises important questions, like their role in present-day theological debates about the rights of women. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge how non-verbal and non-textual communications, including visual rhetoric, bodily comportment, or the impact of voice, affect the making of gendered norms. This paper uses examples from Malaysia – where a rising religious conservatism goes hand in hand with an increasing presence of female religious authorities in the public sphere – to discuss the tensions and interactions at the heart of this mediated authority. Focusing in particular on the lives and careers of two preachers who have recently become very popular – one mostly among urban youth, the other among adults of different backgrounds – it explores the conjunctions between their preaching styles, the sensory regimes in which they operate, and the aspirations and responsibilities of their mostly female audiences.

Close study of these cases reveals the ways in which they are both conforming to and challenging existing religious authorities and norms, especially in an increasingly conservative context.

David Kloos

Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Not Applicable, Netherlands


Send Email for David Kloos


3 - Female Preachers and Mediated Islamic Authority in Malaysia

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Female Preachers and Mediated Islamic Authority in Malaysia