Islam is one of the world s oldest and most intriguing religions, and with so much recent attention focused on Muslim groups, the importance of understanding Islam today is self-evident. How does this classic religion deal with contemporary challenges in ethics and morality in a consistent and rational way? How in the 21st century do its complex moral and legal philosophies continue to provide an alternative to secularism?Professor M.B. Hooker looks at how modern Indonesian Islamic thinking has responded to changes in social and cultural practices in this timely book. In particular he examines how authorities have ruled on such basic issues as purity and representation of doctrine, religious obligations, status and capacity of women, Islam and medical science, and offences against religion. Hooker s research has been drawn from around 2000 fatawa - formal opinion on points of law or dogma - collected from Indonesia between 1920 and 1990. The authority of the fatwa is independent of the state and is uncontaminated by European intellectual imperialism. It thus gives us a pure response to difficult issues from within Islamic thought, and is essential to how we understand Islam at this particular place and time. M.B. Hooker is Professor of Law at the Australian National University, and an Honorary Senior Associate of the Asian Law Centre, University of Melbourne. He has forty years experience in teaching and writing about Southeast Asia.
Barry Hooker is a Professor of Law at Australian National University, and is also an Honorary Senior Associate of the Asian Law Centre, University of Melbourne. He has over forty years experience in teaching and writing about Southeast Asia and is the author of Malaysia and the Original People, Islamic Law in Southeast Asia, An Introduction to Javanese Law, and A Concise Legal History of Southeast Asia.