Conserving Religious Heritage Through People-Involved Management
: The Case of Mosques and Chinese Temples in the Urban Coastal Area of Java, Indonesia

  • Bernadette Tyas-Susanti

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The heritage of Java is the product of a complex mix of cultures that historically influenced the island: Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Javanese, Chinese, and Dutch. Indonesian cultural heritage is represented through many aspects of the nation; the history, the way of life, the identity which should be preserved not only for the present, but for the future. Unfortunately, Indonesian heritage faces many problems; many historic buildings have been demolished, neglected and not well maintained. Due to these facts, the effort should be done in order to save the heritage in Indonesia, and this can be achieved by maximizing the role of the community. The aim of this research is to describe the role of community participation in the religious heritage conservation management in Indonesia, and specifically looks at the case of Chinese temples and mosques in the urban coastal area of Java.The research is the result of extensive fieldwork that was carried out between 2009-2011 and both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed; survey questionnaires, observation and in-depth interviews. The final finding of the research is the model of the religious heritage management which is developed from the Chinese temples and mosques conservation strategy. The Focus Group Discussion was undertaken in the final step to get input from the stakeholders of the heritage conservation. This stage is needed to validate and verify the model before applying the model to other religious buildings.The findings of this research show the extent to which local communities are involved in temple and mosque activities and how their role is essential to the sustainability of their religious buildings. Because local community involvement still needs to be improved in Indonesia, this approach could be employed as an effective model for the conservation of other religious heritage buildings especially in Java, and hopefully later in the wider area of Indonesia.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorEnrico Fodde (Supervisor) & Alexander Copping (Supervisor)


  • community
  • participation
  • chinese temples
  • mosques
  • java
  • indonesia

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