Synopses & Reviews
The surprising work of women in, on, and through Islam
"Given the current interest in women and gender issues in Islam, and scholarly neglect of Islam in Southeast Asia, this book provides a wonderful addition to the literature. . . . Based on extensive fieldwork in Indonesia, the book skillfully weaves interviews, songs, observations, written materials, and theoretical insight into a highly readable account of how Muslim women in a specific context negotiate their roles in modern Muslim society. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice
The surprising work of women in, on, and through Islam.
In the United States, precious little is known about the active role Muslim women have played for nearly a century in the religious culture of Indonesia, the largest majority-Muslim country in the world. While much of the Muslim world excludes women from the domain of religious authority, the country’s two leading Muslim organizations--Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)--have created enormous networks led by women who interpret sacred texts and exercise powerful religious influence.
In Women Shaping Islam, Pieternella van Doorn-Harder explores the work of these contemporary women leaders, examining their attitudes toward the rise of radical Islamists; the actions of the authoritarian Soeharto regime; women’s education and employment; birth control and family planning; and sexual morality. Ultimately, van Doorn-Harder reveals the many ways in which Muslim women leaders understand and utilize Islam as a significant force for societal change; one that ultimately improves the economic, social, and psychological condition of women in Indonesian society.
About the Author
Pieternella van Doorn-Harder is an associate professor of Islam and world religions at Valparaiso University. She is the author of Contemporary Coptic Nuns and the editor of Between Desert and City: the Coptic Orthodox Church Today.