Current and Upcoming

Mainline Islam: Islamic Associational Life in Indonesia

April 16, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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School of International and Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street, Room 918, New York, NY 10027

Speaker: Kevin W. Fogg, Associate Director, Carolina Asia Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Moderator: Sidney Jones, Senior Adviser, Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), Jakarta; Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University

Indonesian Islam has a unique structure in its associational life, in the form of mass Islamic organizations. The most well-known of these, NU and Muhammadiyah, are frequently heralded by politicians and scholars as pillars of religious life and civil society in Indonesia, but there are many similar organizations that function on a provincial or regional level in a similar capacity. This project draws in a comparative study of three regional mass Islamic organizations—Jamiyatul Washliyah founded in Medan, Nahdlatul Ulama based on Lombok, and Alkhairaat headquartered in Palu—to draw broader conclusions about the nature of Islamic associational life in Indonesia, how Indonesian organizations differ from Islamic groups in other countries, and how Islamic organizations in Indonesia have changed over the last century. The project also uses a comparison with American Protestantism, the so-called “Mainline Protestant Denominations,” to articulate a category of organization that is normative in Indonesia but unknown elsewhere in the Islamic world: “mainline” Islamic organizations.

Speakers' Bios:

Kevin W. Fogg received his doctorate in history from Yale University, specializing on Islamic politics in post-colonial Indonesia, before taking up a teaching position at Oxford University in 2012. Since 2020, he has been the Associate Director of the Carolina Asia Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first monograph, Indonesia’s Islamic Revolution, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2020 (and Indonesian translation in 2021). His research in conjunction with partners across the Indonesian archipelago has also been published in journals in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the US, and he was the PI on a digital humanities project to create, a database of legislators in early independent Indonesia.

Sidney Jones is senior adviser to the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) in Jakarta and an adjunct associate professor at New York University. She served as IPAC director from 2013 to 2021, when she returned to New York. From 2002 to 2013, Jones worked for the International Crisis Group in Jakarta, first as Southeast Asia project director,
then as senior adviser to the Asia program. She had earlier worked for the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and New York (1977-84); Amnesty International in London as the Indonesia-
Philippines-Pacific researcher (1985-88); and Human Rights Watch in New York as the Asia director (1989-2002).  In 2000, she served as chief of the human rights office of the United
Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Jones holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and has been a visiting fellow at Australian National University (1995); Berkeley (2012) and Central European University (2017). She received an honorary doctorate in 2006 from the New School in New York.

This event is hosted by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and co-sponsored by New York Southeast Asian Network.


  • To attend this event in-person, please register HERE.
  • To attend this event online, please register HERE.

Contact Information

Julie Kwan