As Indonesia nears the 75th anniversary of its proclamation of independence this year, the socio-political debates surrounding her birth as a nation-state take on contemporary salience. In Indonesia’s Islamic Revolution
(Cambridge UP, 2019), Kevin W. Fogg analyzes the religious aspirations that motivated many Muslim revolutionaries to fight the return of Dutch after the Second World War and envision a new nation-state. The book tackles this topic on both military and political fronts; paying attention not only to how Islam energized the Indonesian Revolution but also to how revolution refreshes the practice and social organization of Islam. While much of the present historiography on the Indonesian Revolution has centered on the secular nationalist leaders as primary historical actors, this book refocuses attention on how the revolutionary movement drew additional vitality from a diverse group of pious Muslims. Integrating the experiences of relatively obscure military veterans with well-known Muslim politicians, the book is one of the first to provide a coherent survey of the multi-faceted ways Islam became entangled with Indonesia’s revolutionary ideology across different ethnic communities.
In this podcast, we discuss the notion of Muslim piety and how stories from veterans of the revolution break down orthodox-heterodox binaries in the practice of Islam, the mutations of religious authority during a tumultuous period, the politics of forming a national bureaucracy to govern Islam and enduring legacies of Indonesia’s Revolution.
Kevin W. Fogg
is based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is the associate director at the Carolina Asia Center. He is also a research associate at Brasenose College and the Faculty of History, Oxford University. Find him online at www.kevinwfogg.net.
Faizah Zakaria is an assistant professor of history at Nanyang Technological University. You can find her website here or on Twitter @laurelinarien