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Madjid, Nurcholish

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Madjid, Nurcholish

    (b. 1939 )

    Indonesian Islamic scholar and advocate of religious tolerance and pluralism. Interprets Islam to meet the spiritual needs of modern urban populations. More concerned with spirituality than ritual and social behavior. In the 1960s, challenged the traditionalist position advocating a literal interpretation of the Quran and hadith. Advocates instead a return to the spirit or underlying universal principles of early Islam as a guide for conduct in the cultural and historical context of contemporary Indonesia. In 1970 , introduced the concept of “Islamic secularization,” promoting the desacralization of aspects of human life and knowledge that are not properly religious. Emphasizes the concept of Islamic brotherhood, extending the boundaries of the Muslim community as broadly as possible. Has denounced sectarian and fundamentalist groups as cults. Defines Islam simply as submission to God, allowing him to use the word Islam when discussing Christians and Jews. Calls for an inclusive, tolerant Islam and dialogue with other faiths in order to resolve problems of bigotry and intolerance plaguing all major religions.

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