Hefner Discusses Islam and Citizenship in Indonesia on Popular Podcast

On June 10, 2024,  Robert Hefner, Professor of Anthropology and of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Director of the School’s Center for the Study of Asia an anthropologist and global affairs expert at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Affairs, was interviewed about his latest book “Islam and Citizenship in Indonesia: Democracy and the Quest for an Inclusive Public Ethics” on the podcast “Rocking our Priors.” The podcast, hosted by Alice Evans, a professor at Kings College London and Harvard University, features in-depth conversations with academics, artists, and authors on a wide range of topics.

In the two-and-a-half-hour interview, Professor Hefner shared insights from his over 30 years of ethnographic research in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. The discussion covered Indonesia’s religious history, cultural diversity, the growth of Islamic piety, and what these factors mean for gender equality and democracy in the nation.

Professor Hefner, who also serves as the President of the American Institute for Indonesian Studies, and Past President of the Association for Asian Studies, emphasized the importance of Indonesia’s unique brand of Islam, which has been shaped by the country’s pre-Islamic traditions of inclusivity and tolerance. He noted that despite the rise of public piety in recent decades, Indonesia has largely maintained its commitment to pluralism and democracy, setting it apart from many other Muslim-majority nations.

The complete podcast episode, along with a detailed background on Indonesia and Professor Hefner’s book, a full transcript of the interview, and a pictorial history of politics and Islam in Indonesia, is available on Alice Evans’ website.

To listen to the podcast, visit: https://soundcloud.com/user-845572280/islam-and-citizenship-in-indonesia-robert-hefner

For more information, visit: https://www.ggd.world/p/islam-and-citizenship-in-indonesia?utm_campaign=email-post&r=zccyx&utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

Robert Hefner has directed 19 research projects and organized 18 international conferences, and authored or edited nineteen books. He is the former president of the Association for Asian Studies. At CURA, he directed the program on Islam and civil society since 1991; coordinated interdisciplinary research and public policy programs on religion, pluralism, and world affairs; and is currently involved in two research projects: “The New Western Plurality and Civic Coexistence: Muslims, Catholics, and Secularists in North America and Western Europe”; and “Sharia Transitions: Islamic Law and Ethical Plurality in the Contemporary World.” Read more about Professor Hefner on his faculty profile