Live Q&A: Mainline Islam: Islamic Associational Life in Indonesia
Harvard Business School
Department of Comparative Literature
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Location: Virtual Event
Sponsor: Harvard University Asia Center
Indonesian Islam has a unique structure in its association life, in the form of mass Islamic organizations. The most well-known of these, NU and Muhammadiyah, are frequently heralded by politicians and scholars as pillars of religious life and civil society in Indonesia, but there are many similar organizations that function on a provincial or regional level in a similar capacity. This project draws in a comparative study of three regional mass Islamic organizations—Jamiyatul Washliyah founded in Medan, Nahdlatul Wathan based on Lombok, and Alkhairaat headquartered in Palu—to draw broader conclusions about the nature of Islamic associational life in Indonesia, how Indonesian organizations differ from Islamic groups in other countries, and how Islamic organizations in Indonesia have changed over the last century. The project also uses a comparison with American Protestantism, the so-called “Mainline Protestant Denominations,” to articulate a category of organization that is normative in Indonesia but unknown elsewhere in the Islamic world: “mainline” Islamic organizations.
Kevin W. Fogg is the Associate Director of the Carolina Asia Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With degrees from Duke and Yale, he previously taught for seven years at Oxford University and has been a visiting researcher at State Islamic Universities across Indonesia. As a historian, his work focuses on Islamic communities in Indonesia after independence.