BY ELIZABETH A. COLE AND MARLEEN KASSEL
NEW YORK: ASIA SOCIETY, 2007
Reviewed by Nelly van Doorn-Harder
The outcome of a collaborative project by the Asia Society, the goal of this book is to present the complex and diverse religious landscape of Southeast Asia. Through a thematic approach, the guide introduces the Muslim population of the area that is among the largest in the world. The result is an enlightening balance between information about normative Islam—the five pillars—and local specific expressions and interpretations of normative Islamic teachings.
The guide is written for upper level high school and introductory college classes. The format is user-friendly, which allows teachers with little or no knowledge of the area to devote an entire class or part of a class to this topic. Eighteen maps and numerous pictures offer the visual tools to understand the region. All the material is available on the CD in the back of the book.