On April 17 and 18, the Islamic Legal Studies Program will present a conference on Islamic Law in modern Indonesia as part of its year-long focus on Indonesia and the application and understanding of Islamic law there. The conference, which will begin at 9 a.m. in Pound 101, is free for Harvard affiliates. There is a $25 registration fee for the general public.

The most populous Muslim country in the world, Indonesia is frequently ignored by scholars of Islam, who are focused more on the Middle East or North Africa. Despite its geographical complexity and its vast patchwork of ethnic differences, Indonesia has been successful in nurturing a version of Islam that is known for its tolerance and moderation. Like any religious community, however, there is more heterogeneity than homogeneity, and the Indonesian Islamic community has been divided over, among other things, the necessity of applying the religious law. The historical evolution of Islamic law in Indonesia, the vehicles for its development and application, as well as the present debates, both legal and ideological, that are taking place with regard to the place of Islamic law in Indonesian society are of immense importance to the global community, not only for their own intrinsic value but because what can be learned from them can be applied to understanding changes in the legal systems of other Muslim countries today.

The conference will bring together leading authorities on Indonesian law and legal thought from Indonesia, Australia, Europe, and the United States. They will present panels on Indonesian Muslim legal theory, the production of Islamic legal opinion (fatwas), Muslim legal education in Indonesia, and Islam in positive law and the Indonesian legal system.

For more information, please visit the Islamic Legal Studies Program website.