Located on the eastern periphery of the historical Muslim world, as a political entity Indonesia is barely a century old. Yet with close to a quarter of a billion followers of Islam it is now the largest and most populous Muslim country in the world. As the greatest political power in Southeast Asia, and a growing player on the world scene, Indonesia presents itself as a bridge country between Asia, the wider Muslim world and the West. In this survey Carool Kersten presents the Islamisation of Indonesia from the first evidence of the acceptance of Islam by indigenous peoples in the late thirteenth century until the present day. He provides comprehensive insight into the different roles played by Islam in Indonesia throughout history, including the importance of Indian Ocean networks for connecting Indonesians with the wider Islamic world, the religion’s role as a means of resistance and tool for nation building, and postcolonial attempts to forge an ‘Indonesian Islam’. ; In this survey Carool Kersten presents the Islamisation of Indonesia from the first evidence of the acceptance of Islam by indigenous peoples in the late thirteenth century until the present day. ; Acknowledgements; A note on translation and transliteration; Glossary; Introduction; 1. The Arrival of Islam; 2. Network Islam; 3. Islam as Resistance; 4. Islam and Nation-building; 5. An Indonesian Islam?; Conclusion; Endnotes; Bibliography; Index. ; Acknowledgements A note on translation and transliteration Glossary Introduction 1. The arrival of Islam 2. Network Islam 3. Islam as resistance 4. Islam and nation-building 5. An Indonesian Islam? Conclusion Endnotes Bibliography Index
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Elegantly written, carefully crafted, and solidly grounded in scholarly sources and debates, this book provides an excellent synthetic account of the history of Islam in Indonesia. Carool Kersten’s erudition, astute and judicious readings of the specialist literature, and his skills as a writer are all in ample evidence in this magisterial survey.
- John T. Sidel, London School of Economics and Political Science
Carool Kersten is Reader in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World at King’s College London and a Research Associate at the Centre of South East Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. He is the author of Cosmopolitans and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study of Islam (2011), Dr. Muller’s Asian Journey: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Yunnan (1907-1909) (2005) and Strange Events in the Kingdoms of Cambodia and Laos (1635-1644) (2003). His latest publications include Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values (2015) and a three-volume anthology, The Caliphate and Islamic Statehood.