Williams, “Indonesia, Islam, and the International Political Economy”

This month, Routledge releases “Indonesia, Islam, and the International Political Economy: Clash or Cooperation?” by Mark Williams (Vancouver Island University).  The publisher’s description follows:

The Republic of Indonesia is a rising great power in the Asia-Pacific, set to become the eighth largest economy in the world in the coming decades. It is the most 9780415788878populous Muslim majority country in the world. The largest Islamic organizations and parties have supported Indonesia’s participation with global markets, but this has not come from an ideological support for capitalism or economic liberalization. Islamic political culture has denounced the injustices caused by global capitalism and its excesses. In fact, support for Indonesia’s engagement with the international political economy is born from political pragmatism, and from Indonesia’s struggles to achieve economic development.

This book examines the role of Islamic identity in Indonesia’s foreign economic relations and in its engagement with the world order. There is no single expression of Islam in Indonesia, the politics espoused by Islamic parties and organizations are far from monolithic. Islamic sentiment has been invoked by the state to justify heinous acts of brutality, as well as by violent, subnational revolutionary groups. However, these expressions of Islam have deviated from the dominant narrative, which is in favour of international cooperation and economic development. Economic exploitation, political alienation, financial volatility, and aggression toward Muslims around the world that has caused some Islamic groups to radicalize. The political culture of Islam in Indonesia is a social force that is helping to foster a peaceful rise for Indonesia. However, a peaceful expression of Islam is not inevitable for the republic, nor can it be assumed that Islamic identity in Indonesia will unwaveringly support the global economic order, regardless of what might occur in global politics.

Hasan, “Public Islam in Indonesia”

In April, University of Chicago Press will release “Public Islam in Indonesia: Piety, Politics, and Identity,” by Noorhaidi Hasan (Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University).  The publisher’s description follows:

9789462983205In recent years, ongoing democratization in Indonesia has enabled the rise of a form of Islam that is more sympathetic to the basic democratic principle of individual freedom. As a result, many Islamic symbols have lost their strictly religious meanings in favor of new pragmatic and political undertones. Combining approaches from political science and anthropology, Noorhaidi Hasan explores this phenomenon and the extent to which public Islam could represent a new future for the nation, one that moves beyond the simple opposition of state versus religion.

Kersten, “A History of Islam in Indonesia”

In January, Edinburgh University Press will release A History of Islam in Indonesia: Unity in Diversity by Carool Kersten (King’s College, London). The publisher’s description follows:

a-history-of-islam-in-indonesiaExplores the history of Islam in the largest Muslim nation state in the world

Located on the eastern periphery of the historical Muslim world, as a political entity Indonesia is barely a century old. Yet with close to a quarter of a billion followers of Islam it is now the largest and most populous Muslim country in the world. As the greatest political power in Southeast Asia, and a growing player on the world scene, Indonesia presents itself as a bridge country between Asia, the wider Muslim world and the West.

In this survey Carool Kersten presents the Islamisation of Indonesia from the first evidence of the acceptance of Islam by indigenous peoples in the late thirteenth century until the present day. He provides comprehensive insight into the different roles played by Islam in Indonesia throughout history, including the importance of Indian Ocean networks for connecting Indonesians with the wider Islamic world, the religion’s role as a means of resistance and tool for nation building, and postcolonial attempts to forge an ‘Indonesian Islam’.

Fenwick, “Blasphemy, Islam and the State”

This month, Routledge releases “Blasphemy, Islam and the State: Pluralism and Liberalism in Indonesia,” by Stewart Fenwick (University of Melbourne).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book draws on the work of Rawls to explore the interaction between faith, law and the right to religious freedom in post-41-vyprpsgl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Soeharto Indonesia, the world’s largest democracy after India and the United States. It argues that enforcement of Islamic principles by the state is inconsistent with religious diversity and the country’s liberal constitution. The book thus contributes to understanding the role of religion in the development of democracy in the world’s largest Muslim nation. A key objective is to test the argument that Rawls’ thinking about public reason cannot apply to the case of Indonesia, and Muslim states more broadly. The book therefore contributes to emerging scholarship that considers Rawls in a Muslim context. In addition to examining public reason in detail and considering critiques of the concept, the work highlights the fact that the theory was created to deal with value pluralism and is therefore relevant in any religious setting, including an Islamic one. In doing so, it emphasises that Islam is multifaceted and demonstrates the difficulties, and negative consequences, of integrating faith and law in a liberal state.

“Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia” (Lindsey & Pausacker, eds.)

In May, Routledge released “Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia,” edited by Tim Lindsey (University of Melbourne) and Helen Pausacker (University of Melbourne).  The publisher’s description follows:

Despite its overwhelmingly Muslim majority, Indonesia has always been seen as exceptional for its diversity and pluralism. In recent years, however, there has been a 9781138100879rise in “majoritarianism”, with resurgent Islamist groups pushing hard to impose conservative values on public life – in many cases with considerable success. This has sparked growing fears for the future of basic human rights, and, in particular, the rights of women and sexual and ethnic minority groups. There have, in fact, been more prosecutions of unorthodox religious groups since the fall of Soeharto in 1998 than there were under the three decades of his authoritarian rule. Some Indonesians even feel that the pluralism they thought was constitutionally guaranteed by the national ideology, the Pancasila, is now under threat. This book contains essays exploring these issues by prominent scholars, lawyers and activists from within Indonesia and beyond, offering detailed accounts of the political and legal implications of rising resurgent Islamism in Indonesia. Examining particular cases of intolerance and violence against minorities, it also provides an account of the responses offered by a weak state that now seems too often unwilling to intervene to protect vulnerable minorities against rising religious intolerance.

Hadiz, “Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East”

This month, the Cambridge University Press releases “Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East,” by Vedi R. Hadiz (University of Melbourne).  The publisher’s description follows:

In a novel approach to the field of Islamic politics, this provocative new study compares the evolution of Islamic populism in Indonesia, the country with the 9781107123601largest Muslim population in the world, to the Middle East. Utilising approaches from historical sociology and political economy, Vedi R. Hadiz argues that competing strands of Islamic politics can be understood as the product of contemporary struggles over power, material resources and the result of conflict across a variety of social and historical contexts. Drawing from detailed case studies across the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the book engages with broader theoretical questions about political change in the context of socio-economic transformations and presents an innovative, comparative framework to shed new light on the diverse trajectories of Islamic politics in the modern world.

  • Charts the evolution of Islamic populism in Indonesia, comparing it to the Middle East
  • Offers a novel framework to understand the diverse trajectories of Islamic politics in the modern world
  • Engages with debates on religion, politics and social change

Afrianty, “Women and Sharia Law in Northern Indonesia”

This March, Routledge Press will release “Women and Sharia Law in Northern Indonesia: Local Women’s NGOs and the Reform of Islamic Law in Aceh” by Dina Afrianty (Australian Catholic University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book examines the life of women in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where Islamic law was introduced in 1999. It outlines how women have had to face the formalisation of conservative understandings of sharia law in regulations and new state institutions over the last decade or so, how they have responded to this, forming non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have shaped local discourse on women’s rights, equality and status in Islam, and how these NGOs have strategised, demanded reform, and enabled Acehnese women to take active roles in influencing the processes of democratisation and Islamisation that are shaping the province. The book shows that although the formal introduction of Islamic law in Aceh has placed restrictions on women’s freedom, paradoxically it has not prevented them from engaging in public life. It argues that the democratisation of Indonesia, which allowed Islamisation to occur, continues to act as an important factor shaping Islamisation’s current trajectory; that the introduction of Islamic law has motivated women’s NGOs and other elements of civil society to become more involved in wider discussions about the future of sharia in Aceh; and that Indonesia’s recent decentralisation policy and growing local Islamism have enabled the emergence of different religious and local adat practices, which do not necessarily correspond to overall national trends.

Steenbrink, “Catholics in Independent Indonesia:1945-2010”

In February, Brill will release “Catholics in Independent Indonesia: 1945-2010” by Karel Steenbrink (Utrecht University). The publisher’s description follows:

Catholics in Independent Indonesia: 1945-2010 concludes Steenbrink’s three volume historical account of Catholicism in Indonesia with a detailed report of the survival and growth of this minority religion in Muslim Indonesia since its independence in 1945. Colonial Catholicism survived in the independent Republic of Indonesia during the nationalist Sukarno regime (1945-1965) and regained a new dynamic during the general religious revival that was part of the New Order of Soeharto after 1965. From a Dutch-inspired institution it became a fully Indonesian steered community with a modern and international character. The second half of the book will deal with the different regional developments in this vast country.

 

Duncan, “Violence and Vengeance: Religious Conflict and Its Aftermath in Eastern Indonesia”

This October, Cornell University Press will publish Violence and Vengeance: Violenve and VengeanceReligious Conflict and Its Aftermath in Eastern Indonesia by Christopher R. Duncan (Arizona State University).  The publisher’s description follows.

Between 1999 and 2000, sectarian fighting fanned across the eastern Indonesian province of North Maluku, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. What began as local conflicts between migrants and indigenous people over administrative boundaries spiraled into a religious war pitting Muslims against Christians and continues to influence communal relationships more than a decade after the fighting stopped. Christopher R. Duncan spent several years conducting fieldwork in North Maluku, and in Violence and Vengeance, he examines how the individuals actually taking part in the fighting understood and experienced the conflict.

Rather than dismiss religion as a facade for the political and economic motivations of the regional elite, Duncan explores how and why participants came to perceive the conflict as one of religious difference. He examines how these perceptions of religious violence altered the conflict, leading to large-scale massacres in houses of worship, forced conversions of entire communities, and other acts of violence that stressed religious identities. Duncan’s analysis extends beyond the period of violent conflict and explores how local understandings of the violence have complicated the return of forced migrants, efforts at conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Seo, “State Management of Religion in Indonesia”

This June, Routledge published State Management of Religion in Indonesia by 9780415517164Myengkyo Seo (University of Cambridge). The publisher’s description follows.

Although Indonesia is generally considered to be a Muslim state, and is indeed the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, it has a sizeable Christian minority as a legacy of Dutch colonialism, with Christians often occupying relatively high social positions. This book examines the management of religion in Indonesia. It discusses how Christianity has developed in Indonesia, how the state, though Muslim in outlook and culture, is nevertheless formally secular, and how the principal Christian church, the Java Christian Church, has adapted its practices to fit local circumstances. It examines religious violence and charts the evolution of the state’s religious policies, analyzing in particular the impact of the 1974 Marriage Law showing how it enabled extensive state regulation, but how in practice, rather than reinforcing religious divisions, inter-religious marriage, involving the conversion of one party, is widespread. Overall, the book shows how Indonesia is developing its own brand of secularism, neither a full-blooded Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, nor an outright secular state like Turkey.

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