Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Study of Comparative Religion by Indonesian Muslims: A Survey

Steenbrink, Karel A. 1990. "The Study of Comparative Religion by Indonesian Muslims: A Survey". Numen. 37 (2): 141-167.

Religious studies were always highly estimated in Islam. Perhaps there is, besides the Jewish religion, no religion so concentrated on the holy book neither is there any religion, that keeps religious scholars in such a high esteem, as the islamic community. Seeking knowledge itself is a meritorious action. This knowledge, however, was usually confined to the common subjects of mysticism and ethics, law and dogmatics. A more philosophical or empirical approach in the field of religious studies was usually not stimulated before the 20th century and the interest in other religious tradi- tions, outside the islamic, was seldom elaborated. - "The comparative history of religions is a Muslim creation" is quoted as a saying of Henry Laoust. After a glorious start with Shahrastani this creation was not always fostered and developed in the curriculum of religious studies in the Muslim world.' This article wants to present the major results of this study by Indonesian Muslims.

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