, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 345-356
Date: 11 Apr 2008

Islamic higher education and social cohesion in Indonesia

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Abstract

This study explores the role of public Islamic higher education in promoting better relations between various religious communities in post-authoritarian Indonesia. Based on field research conducted between December 2005 and March 2006, it documents how progressive Islamic education leaders have advanced a tradition of critical intellectualism in efforts toward the “renewal” of Islamic thought. This report provides an analysis of how this tradition has served as a foundation for educators seeking to promote democratization and address issues of social cohesion. It examines some of the core values expressed by educational leaders as they have aspired to transform the most prominent State Institutes for Islamic Studies (IAIN) into genuine universities. The study also highlights the conservative backlash against public Islamic higher education and other purveyors of progressive ideas within Indonesian society.