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Michel Picard

Honorary Researcher
Discipline :

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Professional contact information

5bis Rue des Haudriettes, 75003 Paris



  • Bali, Indonesia.


  • Anthropology of religion
  • Identity constructions
  • Sociology of tourism


  • Having gone to Bali with the aim of studying the local implications of international tourism, I ended up taking an interest in the contemporary Hinduization of Balinese religion. To my mind, there is no continuity between one and the other object of research. What they have in common is the question of identity, its construction and its negotiation.
  • I am currently writing a scholarly work on the dialogic construction of Balinese identity in terms of “religion” (agama), “tradition” (adat) and culture (budaya).
  • As part of this research on the dialogic construction of Balinese identity, I am pursuing my investigations in two paired directions:
    • the links between the religious affiliation of the Balinese and their ethnicity;
    • the influence of Indian neo-Hinduism on the Hinduization of Balinese religion.
  • These questions shape my participation in the Franco-German research project funded by the ANR and the DFG, and focused on the theme of Local Traditions and World Religions : The Appropriation of “Religion” in Southeast Asia and Beyond. My contribution, entitled The Invention of a Balinese Religion as Agama Hindu, is focused on the conflict between those Balinese who wish to universalize their religion by freeing it from its ethnic particularities, in order to bring it into conformity with the idea they have of Hinduism, and those who endeavor to re-localize and re-ethnicize their religious identity.


  • 2012 - “Polyglossie et vernacularisation à Bali : ‘l’indianisation’ par le théâtre”, in Théâtres d’Asie à l’œuvre, edited by H. Bouvier & G. Toffin, EFEO, Paris, pp. 159-179.
  • 2011 - “From Agama Bali to Agama Hindu : The role of Balinese intellectuals in the development of Hinduism from the colonial period until now”, in Bali Dalam Proses Pembentukan Karakter Bangsa, I Nyoman Darma Putra & I Gde Pitana, eds., Pustaka Larasan, Denpasar, pp. 161-192.
  • 2011- “Balinese Religion in Search of Recognition : From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu (1945-1965)”, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 167/4 : 482-510.
  • 2011 - The Politics of Religion in Indonesia. Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali, edited by Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier, Routledge, London & New York, 238 p.
  • 2011 - “Introduction : ‘Agama’, ‘Adat’, and Pancasila”, in The Politics of Religion in Indonesia. Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali, M. Picard & R. Madinier, eds., Routledge, London, pp. 1-20.
  • 2011- “From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu and back. Toward a relocalization of the Balinese religion ?”, in The Politics of Religion in Indonesia. Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali, M. Picard & R. Madinier, eds., Routledge, London, pp. 117-141.
  • 2011 - “Le christianisme à Bali : visées missionnaires, objections orientalistes et appropriation balinaise”, Archipel81 : 11-46.
  • 2009 - “From Kebalian to Ajeg Bali. Tourism and Balinese identity in the aftermath of the Kuta bombing”, inTourism in Southeast Asia : Challenges and New Directions, M. Hitchcock, V.T. King & M. Parnwell, eds., NIAS Press, Copenhagen, & University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, pp. 99-131.
  • 2008- “Affiliation religieuse et appartenance ethnique à Bali, ou comment les Balinais en sont venus à adopter l’hindouisme comme marqueur identitaire et ce qui s’en est suivi”, inL’ethnicité reconsidérée : éclairages sud-est asiatiques, edited by B. Brac de la Perrière, B. Formoso & M. Picard, Aséanie 21 : 175-203.
  • 2008 - “En quête de l’identité balinaise à la fin de l’époque coloniale”, Archipel75 : 27-62.
  • 2007 - “From Turkey to Bali : Cultural Identity as Tourist Attraction”, in The Study of Tourism : Anthropological and Sociological Beginnings, D. Nash, ed., Tourism Social Science Series, Pergamon, Oxford & New York, pp. 167-183.
  • 2004- “What’s in a Name ? Agama Hindu Bali in the Making”, in Hinduism in Modern Indonesia. A minority religion between local, national, and global interests, M. Ramstedt, ed., RoutledgeCurzon-IIAS Asian Studies Series, London & New York, pp. 56-75.
  • 2002- “Religion, tradition et culture. La construction dialogique d’une identité balinaise”, L’Homme163, 107-136.
  • 1999 - “La polémique entre Surya Kanta (1925-1927) et Bali Adnjana (1924-1930), ou comment être balinais à l’ère du progrès”,Archipel58 : 3-38.
  • 1999 - “The Discourse of Kebalian : Transcultural Constructions of Balinese Identity”, inStaying Local in the Global Village. Bali in the Twentieth Century, R. Rubinstein & L.H. Connor, eds., University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, pp. 15-49.
  • 1998- “Le gambuh : grandeur, décadence et renaissance (?) du théâtre à Bali”, Archipel55 : 141-190.
  • 1997 - “Cultural Tourism, Nation-Building, and Regional Culture : The Making of a Balinese Identity”, in Tourism, Ethnicity, and the State in Asian and Pacific Societies, M. Picard & R.E. Wood, eds., University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, pp. 181-214.
  • 1996- Bali. Cultural Tourism and Touristic Culture, Archipelago Press, Singapore.

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