Herb Feith Dialogue - Faith and Politics in Indonesia

In late August the Centre had the privilege of hosting Professor Arskal Salim (the Director of Higher Islamic Education in the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs) as our Visiting Professorial Fellow.

The peak of his visit was his lecture 'Faith and Politics in Indonesia: Managing the Challenge' to the well-attended and second Herb Feith Dialogue series, on Thursday (22/08/2019). Professor Sharon Pickering (Monash Dean of Arts) and Spica Tutuhatunewa (The Consul General) opened the evening, while Associate Professor Julian Millie chaired the lecture and discussion that followed. Special guests in attendance included Professor Andrew MacIntyre (Senior Pro Vice‐Chancellor for Southeast Asia Partnerships), Professor Margaret Kartomi and Professor Emeritus Merle Ricklefs.Faith & Politics Body

In his introduction to the lecture, Julian Millie pointed out the importance of the Ministry of Religion in the development of contemporary Muslim society in Indonesia. The Ministry’s support for education has enabled a diversity of Islamic expertise in public life. Click here for more back information, authored by Millie.

Salim drew our attention to the diverse texture of political Islam in Indonesia. Drawing on new Indonesian research, he pointed out that the legitimacy of the Indonesian state was well-supported by Muslim leaders. The minority of leaders who consider it to lack legitimacy are, however, an important concern for policy-makers in the country.

During his week-long of visit, Salim met a number of Monash senior members of academic and administrative leadership, discussing future collaborations in training and research. Monash researchers share an interest with Salim in the topic of ‘convergence’ in Islamic education. This concept refers to the expansion and merging of educational styles, something at the core of Ministry policy. Plans were made for future talks around this topic.

Salim is also Professor of Politics of Islamic Law at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) in Jakarta. He obtained a PhD in Law from Melbourne Law School, Australia, in 2006. His PhD dissertation was published by Hawaii University Press in 2008 as Challenging the Secular State: The Islamization of Laws in Modern Indonesia. His postdoctoral project was published in 2015 by Edinburgh University Press as Contemporary Islamic Law in Indonesia: Sharia and Legal Pluralism. His latest book is co-edited volume with John Bowen, Women and Property Rights in Indonesian Islamic Legal Contexts, Leiden: Brill, November 2018.

Click here for a photo album of the event.