Islam and the Perception of Islam in Contemporary Indonesia

  • Vincent Houben (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Islam in post-reformasi Indonesia is covered by a wide multi-disciplinary literature, in which ‘Islamization’ has gained acceptance as the predominant frame for understanding contemporary developments. Here Islamization is taken to be a move away from an Indonesian Islam that was highly localized and mystical in nature. Adopting an area studies approach, this paper reviews the literature on contemporary Islam in Indonesia and challenges this understanding of Islamization. It is argued that older cultural styles and variations within local Islam have not disappeared, and that, more generally, characterizing the development of Indonesian Islam by using a single label is misleading. 


Indonesia, Islam, post-reformasi, Islamic reform, democracy, transnationalism, area studies