IS EDUCATION DETERMINANT? The Formation of Liberal and Anti-liberal Islamic Legal Thinking in Indonesia

Akh. Muzakki

Abstract


Liberalism and anti-liberalism are two increasing­ly prominent but staunchly opposing streams of Islamic legal thinking in Indonesia. This article analyses the formation of each of the two through an examination of the role of formal education. It focuses on organic intellectuals during two periods, the New Order and the reformasi. Challenging the strongly-held thesis of the determinant role of education, this article argues that both liberal and anti-liberal Islamic legal thinking in Indonesia is a result of not only the intellectual formation in the sense of academic training and access to education and knowledge, but also the sociological background and exposure in building a new epistemic community in an urban context. As a theoretical understanding of sociolo­gical background and exposure, the concept of epistemic community deserves to be taken as an analytical framework in addition to education for the analysis of the formation of the two contesting bents of Islamic legal thinking in Indonesia.

Keywords


Liberalism; anti-liberalism; Islamic legal thinking; education; epistemic community

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2007.1.2.280-322

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