The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia: Networks of Malay-Indonesian and Middle Eastern 'Ulam?' in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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Allen & Unwin, 2004 - History - 254 pages
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Islamic renewal and reformism is an ongoing process which is commonly thought to have started only in the twentieth century. Professor Azra's meticulous study, using sources from the Middle East itself, shows how scholars in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were reconstructing the intellectual and socio-moral foundation of Muslim societies. Drawing on Arabic biographic dictionaries which have never before been analysed or used as research materials, Professor Azra illuminates a previously inaccessible period of history to show the development of the Middle Eastern heritage in the Indonesian archipelago.

The reader can trace the formation and expression of Indonesian Islam and the adaptation of the Arabic intellectualism into recognisably Indonesian idioms. For the first time we have a description of the actual process of localisation, a process of interest to historians, anthropologists and sociologists, and also a subject of intense contemporary relevance.

Professor Azra is one of Indonesia's leading academics and is President of the prestigious State Islamic University of Jakarta. He has published many books on contemporary Islam and is a regular writer for Indonesian newspapers and journals. He is also a noted commentator on Indonesian Islam and politics for the Indonesian and international media.

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About the author (2004)

Professor Azumardi Azra founded Studia Islamika, the Indonesian Journal for Islamic Studies, in 1993. He still holds the position of editor-in-chief of the journal. He has lectured at Harvard and Columbia Universities and has been Rector of IAIN/UIN Jakarta since 1998.

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