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This book is a pioneering work of scholarship from both empirical and theoretical points of view. It is, at least to my knowledge, the first systematic attempt to interpret the political thinking of Indonesian Muslims over this sustained period of time, from the mid-1940s up to the present, and the first to endeavour to develop a theoretical model of that thinking that both categorizes different streams of political thinking in relation to their idealized political goals and provide the means for further analysis. Indeed, the book represents a new direction in analysis. It takes Indonesian Muslim thinking seriously; it is grounded in the understanding and interpretation of what Muslim leaders and thinkers said and thought, rather than what they did or on the social reception or consequences of their thinking. Assyaukanie arranges and analyses that thinking by adopting as his central theoretical plank the notion of the ""model of polity"", the central (moral) components of how a polity might best be organized and constructed. This is, in itself, a notable advance, taking us beyond the efforts at categorisation and typology-building based on socio-economic categories that have characterized the field since Geertz's seminal work in the early and mid-1950s. It discusses such matters as the relationship of Islamism to democracy, the role of the state in sustaining religious belief and practice, and the problem of secularism. This is a confident, controversial, and passionately argued piece of work. It sheds new and powerful light on the nature, depth and trajectory of mainstream Islamic thinking in Indonesia.
Luthfi Assyaukanie is Executive Director of the Religious Reform Project (Repro), Jakarta.
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- ID: 9789812308894
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