Power and religion: Geertz position of present-day Bali

  • Ni Wayan Radita Novi Puspitasari Universitas Udayana Denpasar


This article analyzes the changes of religious - political power relations from the mid of 1950’s to present-day Bali. Anthropologist Geertz stated that Balinese Hinduism is a “superstition”, “rhetoric” and “state cult” that had been applied in the Negara as a theatre state. Within the conception of Hinduism by referring to the relation between the Divine God -Tri Murti and Tri Hita Karana, the Balinese society is believed in the relation between Gods, the people and its environment. Although in the post-colonial era, Balinese people are maintaining the power existence of the local kingdoms, mainly the system of warna. Through the accumulation of charisma, Geertz provided a concept that Negara was basically a state created by honor and ceremony. Thus, the democratic governmental system of Indonesia hardly reach the political arena within the Balinese society. As a result, through the self-awareness and the notion on equality, the Sudra could establish their role as an influential Balinese personage.


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How to Cite
PUSPITASARI, Ni Wayan Radita Novi. Power and religion: Geertz position of present-day Bali. Jurnal Kajian Bali (Journal of Bali Studies), [S.l.], v. 7, n. 1, p. 249-258, may 2017. ISSN 2580-0698. Available at: <https://ojs.unud.ac.id/index.php/kajianbali/article/view/30548>. Date accessed: 16 june 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.24843/JKB.2017.v07.i01.p13.


the existence of power; religion; accumulation of charisma; negara; local tradition