Thursday, May 13, 2010

Religion and the Indonesian Constitution: A Recent Debate

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 36 (3), pp 419–440 October 2005. Printed in the United Kingdom.
© 2005 The National University of Singapore doi:10.1017/S0022463405000238

Nadirsyah Hosen*

This article examines the recent debate on the position of syari’ah in Indonesian constitutional amendments (1999–2002). The article operates at two levels: a historical review of the debate on Islam and state in Indonesia and a theoretical effort to situate the Indonesian debate in the broader context of debates over Islam and constitutions. It argues that the rejection of the proposed amendment to Article 29, dealing with Islam, has shown that Indonesian Islam follows the substantive approach of syari’ah, not the formal one.

*Nadirsyah Hosen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law (CPICL), TC. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland. His email contact is The author is indebted to Gary Bell, Arskal Salim, I.B. Watson, Ian Lewis and the anonymous readers who carefully and critically read the earlier drafts. All opinions and errors are, of course, those of the author.

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