CFP: Discourse on the Search for a Renewed Identity of Muhammadiyah for its Post-Centennial Era

International Conference on Muhammadiyah (ICM) 2012

Date: 29 November – 2 December   2012.
Place: University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM), Malang, East Java, Indonesia.
Language: English only for written and oral presentation and discussion.

Over the past 100 years, the progressive Muslim social movement Muhammadiyah has made significant contributions to the nation building of the Republic of Indonesia, mainly in the field of education, philanthropy, and social welfare. More than that, its contributions to the enhancement of the people’s sovereignty, national unity, social justice, and the uplifting of public morality for the nation have been countless. In spite of all this, some people have perceived that Muhammadiyah’s presence in the Indonesian public seems to be somewhat waning recently. Many factors seemed to have caused this. 

Muhammadiyah has been contested externally by the emergence of a number of Islamist movements since the fall of the New Order — many of them with trans-national connections. Even more directly, Muhammadiyah has faced with the threat of infiltration by some Islamist forces, among others, by the PKS (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, Prosperous Justice Party). Internally, too, Muhammadiyah has experienced unprecedented conflicts because of the development of three contrasting orientations: The revival of ‘Salafist’ trend, the well-established mainstream, taking a moderate centralist position, and a more recent trend of ‘liberals’.
All in all, an image of Muhammadiyah in recent years has been less dynamic, less innovative, and less progressive compared to its fresh forward looking stance shown decades before. Thus, Muhammadiyah at the entrance of its second century is facing a number of serious challenges. The most essential among them seems to be the “rediscovery” or “reformulation” of its own identity.  Recent rapid, global grand-scale changes are demanding Muhammadiyah to seriously re-examine the meanings of its modernity, progressiveness and reformism in the post-modern contexts.
The ICM intends to survey and discuss the Muhammadiyah movement in search of new identity and direction. Can and will Muhammadiyah continue and even advance to be an organization of progressive Islamic social and religious movement well into its post-centennial era? How is it revitalizing the élan vital of the movement? These questions seem to require serious inquiries not only by Muhammadiyah activists themselves but also by those scholars who have been observing Muhammadiyah for many years.
Themes to Consider:
  1. History: Modern History of Islam in Indonesia with Emphasis on the Early Period of Muhammadiyah Development
  2. Ethnography: Realities of the Muhammadiyah Movement in Local Context
  3. Education: Challenges of Globalization, Multi-Culturalism and Universalism
  4. Philanthropy/Social Welfare/Social Business:  The working of LAZISMU, PKU, BMT, etc.
  5. Reformism Revisited: The Working of Majelis Tarjih/Tajdid and Interpretation/ Application of Syari’ah
  6. Women and Gender Equality
  7. Youth and Radicalism
  8. Domestic and International Politics: Democratization, the Challenge of Islamism, and World-wide Cooperation of Moderate Muslims
  9. Conflict Resolution and the Enhancement of Intra/Inter-Faith Solidarity
  10. The State of Art in Muhammadiyah Studies
Submission Details
If you want to give a presentation, please submit your proposal (around 250-300 words) and curriculum vitae to Mitsuo Nakamura ( and Azyumardi Azra ( by 15 June 2012. Papers that have been selected will be notified by 15 July 2012. If accepted, the full paper must be submitted by 15 September 2012.
If you are planning to attend, please send an email to Soeparto ( for preliminary registration at your earliest convenience.

Published by

Nassef Manabilang Adiong

Nassef is the founder of Co-IRIS (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort), PHISO (Philippine International Studies Organization), DSRN (Decolonial Studies Research Network), and BRLN (Bangsamoro Research and Legal Network). He works on interdisciplinary research between Islam and International Relations and explores the Bangsamoro society as he heads the Policy Research and Legal Services (PRLS) of the Bangsamoro Parliament. Visit for more details.