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Mark Woodward is research professor at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University. In 2008, he was visiting associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore nd since then has been a visiting professor at the Center for Religious and Crosscultural Studies at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He has  bachelor's, master's and doctoratal degrees in anthropology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on Islam, religion-state-society relations and religion and conflict in Southeast Asia. He has also conducted research on Islam, politics in West Africa (Niger and Nigeria) and in The United Kingdom and on Buddhism and Hinduism in Southeast Asia. He is author of "Islam in Java. Normative Piety and Mysticism in the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, Defenders of Reason in Islam" (1989) and "Java, Indonesia and Islam" (2010) co-author (with Richard Martin and  Dwi Atmaja) of "Defenders of Reason in Islam. Mutazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol" (1997), editor of "Towards a New Paradigm: Intellectual Developments in Indonesian Islam" (1996) and co-editor (with Bianca Smith) of "Gender and Power in Indonesian Islam: Leaders, Feminists, Sufis and Pesantren Selves" (2013). He has published more than 50 scholarly articles in the U.S., Europe, Indonesia and Singapore, many co-authored with Southeast Asian scholars. He is currently directing trans-disciplinary, multi-country projects  on counter-radical Muslim discourse.


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A. Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A. Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests: 


Mark Woodward’s research focuses on religion-state-society relationships in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on Islam in Indonesia. He has also conducted ethnographic research in Burma, Malaysia and Thailand. He has secondary interests in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity and indigenous religions in the region. He has also participated in trans-disciplinary projects concerning radical and counter-radical Muslim discourse and  the correlates of political instability regionally and globally.

  • Mark Woodward. Islam Nusantara: A Symbolic and Semantic Analyses, Heritage of Islam Nusantara: International Journal of Religious Literature and Heritage. (2018)
  • Mark Woodward. Middle-path Islam, Inside Indonesia (2018)
  • Sectarianism, Culture and Politics. Inside Indonesia (2018)
  • Resisting Salafism and the Arabization of Indonesian Islam: A Contemporary Indonesian Didactic Tale by Komaruddin Hidayat,” Contemporary Islam (2017)
  • Tariqah Naqshbandi Bayanullah (TNB): Localization of a Global Sufi Order in Lombok, Indonesia, Review of Middle East Studies (2017)
  • Cultural Dakwah and Muslim Movements in the United States in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries,” Conference Proceedings, International Conference and Workshop on the Development of Dakwah in Europe and Asia-Pacific, Sunan Ampel State Islamic University, Surabaya, Indonesia (2016)
  • Mohammad Hakim, James Liu, Laina Isler and Mark Woodward, Monarchism, National Identity and Social Representations of History in Indonesia:Intersections of the Local and National in Yogyakarta and Surakarta, Asian Journal of Social Psychology (2015)
  • Bianca Smith and Mark Woodward, Magico-spiritual Power, Female Sexuality and Ritual Sex in Muslim Java: Unveiling the Kesekten of Magical Women,Australian Journal of Anthropology (2015)
  • Hasan Davulcu and Mark Woodward, LookingGlass: A Visual Intelligence Platform for Tracking Online Social Movements,  in:  L. Gerdes (ed.) Illuminating Dark Networks: The Study of Clandestine Groups and Organization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2015)
  • Mark Woodward. An Achilles Heel for Saudi Wahhabis?. Comops (2014).
  • Mark Woodward. ISIL Influence is Fueling Sectarianism in Indonesia. COMOPS (2014).
  • Mark Woodward. Jerusalem in Java. Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City (2014).
  • Mark Woodward. Rumors, Religion and Political Mobilization: Indonesian Cases 1965-1998.” in: Greg Dazeil (ed.) Rumor and Communication in Asia in the Internet Age, (Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series) (2014)
  • Nora-Fisher-Onar, James Liu and Mark Woodward. Critical junctures? Complexity and the Post-Colonial Nation-state,International Journal of Intercultural Relations, (2014)
  • Nora Fisher-Onar, James Liu and Mark Woodward, Symbologies, technologies, and identities: Critical Junctures Theory and the Multi-layered Nation-state. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, (2014)
  • James Liu and Mark Woodward. Towards an indigenous psychology of religious terrorism with global implications: Introduction to AJSP's Special Issue on Islamist terrorism in Indonesia. Asian Journal of Social Psychology (2013).
  • Mark Woodward & Mariani Yahya & Inayah Rohmaniyah &Diana Murtaugh Coleman & Chris Lundry & Ali Amin. The Islamic Defenders Front: Demonization, Violence and the State in Indonesia. Contemporary Islam (2013).
  • Mark Woodward, Muhammad Sani Umar, Inayah Rohmaniyah, and Mariani Yahya. Salafi? Violence and Sufi? Tolerance? Rethinking Conventional Wisdom. Perspectives on Terrorism (2013).
  • Bianca Smith and Mark Woodward. Gender and Power in Indonesian Islam. (2013).
  • Bianca Smith and Mark Wooward. Introduction: Decolonizing Islam and Feminism. Gender and Power in Indonesian Islam (2013).
  • Mark Woodward and Inayah Rohmaniyah. The Tawdry Tale of "Syech" Puji and Luftiana: Child Marriage and Polygamy on the Boundary of the Pesantren World. Gender and Power in Indonesian Islam (2013).
  • Mark Woodward, Ali Amin, Inayah Rohmaniyah, Chris Lundry. Getting Culture: A New Path for Indonesia's Islamist Justice and Prosperity Party?. Contemporary Islam (2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Ki Ageng Suryomentaram dan Renaisans Jawa (Ki Ageng Suromentaram and the Javanese Renaissance. Matahari dari Mataram. Menyelami Spiritualitas Jawa Rasional Ki Ageng Suryomentaram. (The Sun from Mataram. Memorializing the Rational Javanese Spirituality of Ki Ageng Suryomentaram) (2012).
  • Jack A. Goldstone, Robert H. Bates, David L. Epstein, Ted Robert Gurr, Michael B. Lustik, Monty G. Marshall, Mark Woodward and Jay Ulfelder. A Global Model for Forecasting Political Instability. American Journal of Political Science (2010).
  • Mark Woodward. "Indonesia: As Volcano Erupts, a Spiritual Loss. Indonesia's Mount Merapi Claims the "Guardian" of the Volcano, a Key Figure in Indonesian Islam. Religion Dispatches (2010).
  • Mark Woodward. he Mount of Fire, Islam and Local Culture. Jakarta Post (2010).
  • Mark Woodward and Inayah Rohmaniyah. "Prohibiting the Burkah=Liberating Women?. COMOPS Journal: Analysis, Commentary and News from the World of Strategic Communications, (2010).
  • Mark Woodward, Ali Amin and Inayah Rohmaniyah. Police Power, Soft Power and Extremist Sub-culture in Indonesia,. COMOPS Journal: Analysis, Commentary and News from the World of Strategic Communications (2010).
  • Mark Woodward, Ali Amin, Inayah Rohmaniyah. Lessons from Aceh Terrorist De-Radicalization. White Paper Series, , Center for Strategic Communications, Arizona State University (2010).
  • Mark Woodward, Ali Amin, Inayah Rohmaniyah. Muslim Education, Celebrating Islam and Having Fun as Counter-Radicalization Strategies in Indonesia,. Perspectives on Terrorism (2010).
  • Ronald Lukens-Bull Mark Woodward. ."Goliath and David in Gaza: Indonesian Myth-building and Conflict as a Cultural System,". Contemporary Islam, (2010).
  • H. Davulcu, S. Ahmed, H. Temkit, Mark Woodward and A. Amin. Analyzing Sentiment Markers Describing Radical and Counter-Radical Elements in Online News. Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, (2010).
  • Mark Woodward. Orientalism, Occidentalism and the History and Future of the Study of Ushuluddin. International Seminar, Faculty of Ushuluddin, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Yogyakarta Indonesia, (2010).
  • Mark Woodward, Ali Amin, Inayah Rohmaniyah and Hasan Davulcu. Modeling Muslim Social Networks. Republic of Indonesia, Department of Religion 10th Annual International Conference on Islam and Islamic Studies, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia. Published by IAIN Sunan Ampel, Surabaya, Indonesia (2010).
  • Mark Woodward. Islamic and Religious Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for Twenty-First Century Indonesia. Journal of Indonesian Islam (2009).
  • Mark Woodward Inayah Rohmaniyah. The Tawdry Tale of "Sheikh" Puji and Luftiana. Musawa, Jurnal Gender dan Islam (2009).
  • Mark Woodward. Islam Jawa. (2008).
  • . . Religion and Conflict in South and Southeast Asia. Disruption Violence London (2006).
  • Woodward, Mark Rhey (Author) . Religious Conflict and the Globalization of Knowledge in Indonesian History. Religion and Conflict in South and Southeast Asia: Dispupting Violence (2006).
  • Woodward, Mark Rhey (Author) . Ini Masih Kerajaan (This is Still a kingdom). Sacred Geography and Social-Religious Transformations iin South and Southeast Asia (2003).
  • Woodward, Mark Rhey. Modernity and the Disenchantment of Life: A Muslim Christian Contrast. Islam in the Era of Globalization. Muslim Attitudes Towards Modernity and Identity (2002).
  • Woodward, Mark Rhey. Order and Meaning in the Yogyakarta Kraton. Structuralism's Transformations. Order and Revision in Indonesian and Malaysian Societies (2000).
  • Woodward, Mark Rhey (Author) . Gifts for the Sky People: Animal Sacrifice, headhunting and power among the Naga of Burma and Assam. Indigenous Religions. A Companion (2000).
  • Inayah Rohmaniyah and Mark Woodward. Wahhabism, Identity and Secular Ritual: Graduation at an Indonesian High School. al Jamiah (0).
  • Mark Woodward. Indonesian Volcano Update, Yes It’s a Religion Story…. Religion Dispatches (0).
  • Mark Woodward. Values, Empiricism and the Construction of Anthropological Knowledge. Center for Religious and Cross Cultural Studies Gadjah Mada University (0).
  • Mark Woodward and Mariani Yayah. Blatant Colonialism in the Malay Muslim "Deep South" of Thailand. COMOPS Journal: Analysis, Commentary and News from the World of Strategic Communications, (0).
  • Rohmaniyah, I. & Woodward, M. Wahhabi Perspectives on Pluralism and Gender: A Saudi – Indonesian Contrast. (Report # 1201). Tempe, AZ: Consortium for Strategic Communication, Arizona State University. available from (0).
  • Woodward, M., Yahya, M., Rohmaniyah, I., Coleman, D. M., Amin, A., & Lundry, C. Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front. Reports Consortium for Strategic Communication, Arizona State University. available from (0).
  • Mark Woodward. Java, Indonesia and Islam. (0).
  • M. Woodward, H. Goodal, L.Cady, S. Corman, K. McDonald and C. Forbes,. The Iranian Letter to President Bush: Analysis and Recommendations. Weapons of Mass Persuasion. Strategic Communication to Combat Violent Extremism (0).
  • Mark Woodward. Rumors, Religion and Political Mobilization: Indonesian Cases 1965-1998. Rumor and Communication in Asia in the Internet Age (Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series) (0).
Research Activity: 
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 201Religion and the Modern World
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 107Religion and Globalization
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 100Religions of the World
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 107Religion and Globalization
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 100Religions of the World
  • Mark Woodward. Anti-Shia Sectarianism and Support for ISIS in Indonesia. University of Exeter International Intra-faith Confernce: Contemporary Sectarianism and Intolerance (Nov 2014).
  • Mark Woodward. INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH CONFERENCE International Intra-Faith Conference -- Building Civic Peace: Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic Relations in Indonesia. same as above (Oct 2014).
  • Mark Woodward. Political Islam in Indonesia. Association for Asian Studies, Singapore Meetings (Aug 2014).
  • Mark Woodward. The Rise of Sectarianism in Indonesia. INTERNATIONAL INTRAFAITH CONFERENCE SECTARIANISM IN THE MALAY WORLD (Aug 2014).
  • Mark Woodward. Culture, Religion, Nationalism and Collective Identity in the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. 10th Biennial Conference of Asian Association of Social Psychology (Aug 2013).
  • Mark Woodward. Religious Pluralism and Inclusive Education and Counter-radicalism. International Conference on Inclusive Education, Palembang State Islamic University, Palembang, Indo (Dec 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Islam and Nationality in the Construction of Malay Identity. The Fourth Al-Jami’ah Forum and Conference: Sharing Identity and Religious Tradition:?Islam and othe (Dec 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Religious Purity and Economic Rationality in Muhammadiyah Discourse. International Research Conference on Muhammadiyah, Muhammadiyah University Malang, Malang, Indonesia (Nov 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Islam, Spirituality and Radicalism. International Conference -- Global Perspectives: Islam, Spirituality and Radicalism, Sunan Kalijaga (Nov 2012).
  • Woodward, M., Davulcu, H., Rohmaniyah, I., & Yahya, M. Modeling Muslim Social Networks. International Conference -- Global Perspectives: Islam, Spirituality and Radicalism, Sunan Kalijaga (Nov 2012).
  • Mark Wooward. Thoughts and Reflections on The Crescent Arises over the Banyan Tree by Professor Mitsuo Nakamura. . Invited talk given at Sunan Kalijaga State University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Nov 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. The Futures of Radicalisms in Southeast Asia -- The Perspectives of Muslim Civil Society Organizations. ONR Futures Conference, Singapore (Nov 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Reflections on Clifford Geertz and the Modjokuto Project. Gadhjah Mada University Graduate College, Great Thinkers Lecture Series (Oct 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Celebrating Cultures as Political Discourse. Invited lecture INdonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (Oct 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Emerging Trends in Muslim Radicalism in Southeast Asia. RSIS Nanyang Technological University Conference on Muslim Radicalism (Oct 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Global Capitalism and Muslim Ethics. International Seminar, Higher School of Islamic Studies, Kediri Indonesia (Oct 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. On Vampire Squid and Pie in the Sky -- Reflections on Greed, Altruism, Global Capitalism, Muslim and Other Ethics. International Conference on Muslim Ethics --Gadjah Mada Universtity Indonesia and Qom University Ira (Jun 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Habib Syech and the Transformation of Hadrami Dakwah. International COnference on Hadrami Studies Jakarta Indonesia (Jun 2012).
  • Mark Woodward. Contesting Culture: Theatre, Politics and Islam in Yogyakarta. Annual Meetings Association for Asian Studies (Mar 2012).
  • US Government, Consultant (2014 - 2105)
  • Journal of Pesantren Studies, Editorial Board (2008 - 2015)
  • Lampu Merapi, Executive Committe and founder (2003 - 2014)