Reading a History of Writing: Heritage, religion and script change in Java

Ronit Ricci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Scripts are sites of religious, cultural and political power. Although scripts are often viewed solely as technical devices in the service of meaning, the particular histories of scripts' coming into being, their uses and sometimes disappearance can tell us much about shifting religious agendas, memory, and attachments to community, place, and particular literary cultures. In my essay I explore the history of writing in Java, including the story of the letters' creation, to think about cultural and religious transformations, the relationship of foreign to local, and the powerful hold certain texts have on the imagination.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)419-435
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - 18 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Research Institute for History, Leiden University.


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