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“Islam in Southeast Asia or Southeast Asian Islam?” Dr. Carool Kersten (King’s College London)

September 2, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

In 2016, the Indonesian Islamic mass organization Nahdatul Ulama launched an international advocacy campaign for promoting Islam Nusantara, or Southeast Asian Islam, as a tolerant variant of the world’s second largest religion with global significance and relevance. The initiative is also a demonstration of growing assertiveness on the part of Indonesian Muslim leaders and intellectuals.


In this lecture the notion of Islam Nusantara is used to tie together my two main research interests: The Islamization of Southeast Asia and the intellectual history of the modern Muslim world, which have been the subject of four monographs. After a diachronic reflection on the arrival, adoption and adaptation of Islam in Southeast Asia, the focus will be narrowed to Indonesia; relating key features of Islam Nusantara to intellectual debates among Indonesian Muslims about the place of religion in the world’s most populous Islamic nation state since the regime change (1998/9) on the eve of the new millennium.


Speaker profile

Dr. Carool Kersten is Reader (Associate Professor) in the Study of Islam & the Muslim World at King’s College London. Aside from a PhD in the Study of Religions from  SOAS, he has also trained as an Arabist and Southeast Asianist. Dr. Kersten’s research interests include Islam in Southeast Asia and the intellectual history of the modern Muslim world. He is the author and editor of eleven books, including A History of Islam in Indonesia (Edinburgh University Press, 2017) and Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values (Oxford University Press, 2015), both of which have been translated into Indonesian, as well as the wider oriented intellectual histories Contemporary Thought in the Muslim World: Trends, themes, and Issues (Routledge, 2019) and Cosmopolitans and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2011).


Moderated by Waleed Ziad (UNC Religious Studies).


Co-sponsored by UNC’s Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies


Register by clicking here.


September 2, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


NC United States

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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