, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 345–356 | Cite as

Islamic higher education and social cohesion in Indonesia

  • Richard G. Kraince
Open File


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.


Southeast Asia Indonesia Islam Higher education Islamic education Universities 



Research for this study was conducted under the auspices of the Fulbright New Century Scholars Programme, the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. The author expresses his gratitude to these institutions as well as to his colleagues in the New Century Scholars Programme. He alone, however, bears responsibility for the nature and content of this study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for International StudiesOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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