Original Research

Searching legal format: Reshaping the role of state and religion in Indonesia post-Suharto

Muhammad H. Siregar, Sahrul Sahrul
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7922 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7922 | © 2022 Muhammad H.Siregar, Sahrul Sahrul | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 2022 | Published: 20 December 2022

About the author(s)

Muhammad H. Siregar, Department of Social Science, Faculty of Dakwah and Islamic Communication, State Islamic University of North Sumatra, Medan, Indonesia; and Department of Sharia Economy, Faculty of Islamic Economy and Business, State Islamic University of North Sumatra, Medan, Indonesia
Sahrul Sahrul, Department of Social Science, Faculty of Dakwah and Islamic Communication, State Islamic University of North Sumatra, Medan, Indonesia

Abstract

This study showed the nexus between state and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), being the mainstream Islamic group addressing political ideology beyond Pancasila. The transnational influence views religion as an ideology, not faith, resulting in the different nation’s elites response. Furthermore, the government failed to formalise the relationship by endorsing NU to take concrete measures in the area. This study demonstrated how Indonesian religious organisations could maintain stability. The post-Suharto era evinced the special relationship between the state and the largest Muslim organisation, helping the government to defuse militant doctrines. Furthermore, this study defied the secularisation theories to set aside the religion’s role in adapting national democracy or social development. The findings indicated that the compromising politicking religion could strengthen the national identity and ideology shield of external infiltration doctrine.

Contribution: This article examines the problem of contemporary nationalism post-Suharto and the variety of potential disintegration. Indeed, the appearance of nationalist-based religious groups such as NU strengthens the nation’s integrity by building awareness of binding religion and nationalism.


Keywords

State; NU; Religion; Culture; Politics

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