Digital Religion: The Packaging and Persuasion of Celebrity Preachers in Contemporary Indonesia


  • Moch. Khafidz Fuad Raya


Digital religion, celebrity preachers, religious authorities, virtual preaching, aesthetic arguments, perceptual persuasion


Digital platforms and social media development have brought major changes in mediating religion with technology. This makes new means and even new methodologies of digital religion in the contemporary era. The emergence of Islamic da'wah applications and the proliferation of Islamic social media have created a new form of universal religious involvement in Indonesia's digital space. This article examines the use of digital platforms and social media created and managed by two celebrity preachers, Aa Gym and Das’ad Latif. Focusing on the Islamic application ‘Aa Gym Apps' and social media on Instagram and YouTube, these two celebrity preachers created a new, broader religious authority. In addition, the packaging and persuasion of the two preachers, who have different characteristics, have attracted millions of followers from upper elite segments of society and urban millennial Muslims who are untouched by other preachers. By using Shusterman's analysis of aesthetic arguments and persuasive perception, this research highlights the intimacy and visibility of two preachers articulating Islam on digital platforms and social media. This study argues that using digital platforms and social media has enabled celebrity preachers to continue to exist in the contemporary era and create visibility for preaching that transcends the boundaries of space and time.

Author Biography

Moch. Khafidz Fuad Raya

Center for the Study of Muslim Society, Indonesia.

Institut Agama Islam Darullughah Wadda’wah Pasuruan, Indonesia.






Studies & Articles