Northwestern Events Calendar


2019 Arryman Fellow and Scholars Symposium

When: Saturday, May 30, 2020
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Public

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey   (847) 467-6609

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


2019 Arryman Fellow, Amrina Rosyada presents her Arryman research paper:

"Of Germs and God: Vaccine Refusal Among Indonesian Muslims and the Shifting Authority of the MUI’s Fatwas"

What could possibly explain Indonesian Muslims’ refusal of vaccination, despite the existence of Islamic religious edicts—or fatwa—that support the medical practice?

Looking at fatwas on vaccination issued by the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) and Indonesian Muslims’ refusal to follow them, this paper examines how and why the MUI’s religious authority over public health issues is being undermined. This paper argues that the reasons behind the undermining of authority include the state’s move toward democratization, the growth of conservatism in scripture reading, the Islamization of science, and the spread of new media technologies in Indonesia. These societal changes have provided more access to diverse kinds of Islamic authorities and increased lay Muslims’ participation in defining acts of piety, leading to a fragmentation of Islamic authority in Indonesia.

This paper also argues that despite the MUI’s long-established Islamic authority in Indonesia, its religious authority should not be seen as stagnant, totalizing, and monopolizing. Rather, its authority is contested and shaped by the social, political, and cultural changes in Indonesian society and the agentive acts of its followers.

Respondent: Anuranjan Sethi, PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University

Also, Arryman Scholars Luthfi Adam and Muhammad Fajar, both PhD Candidates graduating in June 2020 present their dissertations.

Dr. Luthfi Adam, Department of History
Title: Cultivating Power: Buitenzorg Botanic Garden and Empire-Building in the Netherlands East Indies, 1745-1917

Dr. Muhammad Fajar, Department of Political Science
Title: The Path to Preemption: The Politics of the Indonesian Student Movements during the Regime Transition, 1998-1999

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