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The Flowering of Islamic Thought

Liberal-Progressive Discourse and Activism in Contemporary Indonesia

Irasec, Bangkok, février 2011, 28 p.

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Since the fall of President Suharto in May 1998, liberal-progressive Islamic groups have been mushrooming in Indonesia. This article explores the contribution of those groups in spreading liberal-progressive Islamic discourse, while at the same time countering the discourses and activism of radical-conservative Islamic groups. In the interests of accessibility and ease of comprehension, I have divided the article into four parts. The first section will start with a brief explanation on the emergence of Liberal Islam in a global context. The second section will elaborate on the first wave of liberal Islam, in an Indonesian context, that emerged during the 1970s and until the fall of President Suharto in 1998. The third section will provide an explanation about the second wave of liberal Islamic groups and their various discourses, activists and activism. For several reasons, this part will focus only on particular groups that represent liberal-progressive Islam in Indonesia. Finally, to conclude this article my closing remarks will be an overall explanation of liberalprogressive Islam and its future in Indonesia.

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