Religion Past and Present

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(518 words)

[German Version]

derives from Arabic ʾāda, “the constantly recurring,” custom, tradition, customary law. The term spread with Islam; in its Persian form, ʾādat, it came to designate pre-Islamic legal traditions, as well as cultural and even religious traditions, especially in Southeast Asia. In other Islamic areas, the equivalent term is ʾurf. Adat is rooted in the original worldview of the peoples of the Malayo-Polynesian cultural sphere, including the mountain peoples of Taiwan. Thus it embraces all domains of human life – personal, social, a…

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Schumann, Olaf, “Adat”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 November 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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