This book draws on the work of Rawls to explore the interaction between faith, law and the right to religious freedom in post-Soeharto Indonesia, the world’s largest democracy after India and the United States. It argues that enforcement of Islamic principles by the state is inconsistent with religious diversity and the country’s liberal constitution. The book thus contributes to understanding the role of religion in the development of democracy in the world’s largest Muslim nation. A key objective is to test the argument that Rawls’ thinking about public reason cannot apply to the case of Indonesia, and Muslim states more broadly. The book therefore contributes to emerging scholarship that considers Rawls in a Muslim context. In addition to examining public reason in detail and considering critiques of the concept, the work highlights the fact that the theory was created to deal with value pluralism and is therefore relevant in any religious setting, including an Islamic one. In doing so, it emphasises that Islam is multifaceted and demonstrates the difficulties, and negative consequences, of integrating faith and law in a liberal state.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Islam and Pluralism
Setting the scene – sholat dwi bahasa
Ritual prayer – a Pillar of Islam
Islam, the Constitution and the State
Contribution of the Research – Why Rawls?
Chapter 2: Rawls and the Challenge of Faith
The Role of Courts
Commentary and critique
Agreement and Divergence
Chapter 3: Faith and Freedom in Indonesian Law
The Promotion and Protection of Religion
State, Law and Religion
Judicial review of the Blasphemy Law
The Constitution - Compromise or Compromised?
Chapter 4: MUI – The Institutionalising of Indonesian Islam
Islam in Indonesia
Innovation and related concepts
Innovation in Indonesian Islam
Majelis Ulama Indonesia and its fatawa
Chapter 5: Case Study Part 1 – The Language of Devotion
Pondok Itikaf Jamaah Ngaji Lelaku
Reaction and Resonances
Chapter 6: Case Study Part 2 – Innovation on Trial
Blasphemy - A Case Note
Chapter 7: Islam, Public Reason and the State
Case Study of Post-Soeharto Indonesia
Rawls, Islam and the State
Pluralism and Liberalism in Indonesia
Rawls and Indonesian Pluralism
Legislation and Legislative Instruments
Books and Journal Articles
Stewart Fenwick is an Honorary Professor of the Australian Catholic University at the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society, and an Associate of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, and the Asian Law Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia. He was awarded the Harold Luntz Graduate Research Thesis Prize for 2015 at the Melbourne Law School, and was awarded the Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis for 2016 at the University of Melbourne.
'A masterly exploration of the intersection between legal, political and religious institutions in Indonesia as they engage with the difficult issue of religious freedom and blasphemy.'
Professor Abdullah Saeed, University of Melbourne, Australia
'Based on extensive fieldwork in Java, this is a beautifully written and meticulously researched account of the paradox that democratisation in Indonesia led to rising intolerance in the Muslim community. It has important implications for the wider intellectual project of reconciling Islamic thought with Western modernity.'
Professor Tim Lindsey, University of Melbourne, Australia