A crowd of Muslim women in chadors

Trading Places? Muslim modernists and traditionalists in Indonesia since the Reformasi

Wednesday 2nd December 2015; 2.00 - 4.00pm; Room B.13, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Field (32L)
Speaker: Dr Carool Kersten; Chair: Dr Kirsten Schulze

Since the regime change of 1998 and the ensuing Reformasi Period that started with the presidency of Abdurrahman Wahid a year later, Indonesia's public sphere began to experience unprecedented openness. This has also impacted on religious discourses.

In this presentation the focus will be on intra-Muslim debates on the role of Islam in public life, which evinces a broad spectrum of voices characterized by two developments. (1) Young Muslim cadres from traditionalist Islamic backgrounds appear to overtake their modernist Muslim counterparts in terms of progressive thinking; (2) an increasing polarization of positions regarding religious plurality in response to a series of fatwas issued by the Indonesian Council of Religious Scholars (MUI) in the Summer of 2005, which has turned 2005-6 into a watershed year as Indonesia's democratization process moves from transition to consolidation.

This talk is based on Dr Kersten's latest book, Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values. Copies will be for sale at a discount at the event and a book signing will take place after the seminar.

Download and listen to the podcast here



Carool Kersten is Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World at King's College London, and a Research Associate of the Centre for South East Asian Studies (CSEAS) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).



Kirsten Schulze is Deputy Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre and Associate Professor in International History at LSE.