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Distributed for Leiden University Press

Islam, Humanity and the Indonesian Identity

Reflections on History

With an Introduction by Herman L. Beck
Translated by George Fowler
Islam exists in global history with its richly variegated cultural and social realities. When these specific cultural contexts are marginalized, Islam is reduced to an ahistorical religion without the ability to contribute to humanity. This limited understanding of Islam has been a contributing factor in many of the violent conflicts in the present day. Reflecting on Islam in Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, supporting the largest Muslim population, Ahmad Syafii Maarif argues for an understanding that is both faithful to Islam’s essential teachings and open to constantly changing social and cultural contexts. Building on this, he then addresses critical contemporary issues such as democracy, human rights, religious freedom, the status of women, and the future of Islam. Syafii Maarif’s insights offer inspiration to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

336 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2018

Debates on Islam and Society


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“The force and sincerity of Buya Syafii’s thoughts are fully communicated.”


SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia

“It is good to have this book in English and thus accessible for students and readers more familiar with other parts of the Muslim world.”

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

“This book is valuable for its exposition of a characteristically modernist Muslim perspective on Indonesia’s future…. [it] has value for observers of modern Indonesian Islam as a reminder of a distinctively Indonesian conception of Islam and politics that is rather overlooked at present, and as an illustration of the difficulties attaching to the intellectual dimensions of that project.”

Southeast Asian Studies

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