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Dr. Nurcholish Madjid (March 17, 1939 – August 29, 2005), in his homeland affectionately known as Cak Nur, was a prominent Indonesian Muslim intellectual. Early in his academic career, Nurcholish was a leader in various student organizations. He soon became well known as a proponent for modernization within Islam. Throughout his career he continued to argue that for Islam to be victorious in the global struggle of ideas, it needs to embrace the concepts of tolerance, democracy and pluralism.

Born in Jombang, East Java, Madjid received his early education in religious institutions in Indonesia, so called pesantren. He later received his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in the United States where he studied under the noted Pakistani-American scholar, Fazlur Rahman. In 2003 he participated in Indonesia's national elections as a candidate for the presidency. He served as Rector of Paramadina University in Jakarta from 1998 up until his death. Madjid was married and had two children.

In the 1970s, Cak Nur coined the slogan: 'Islam, yes; Islamic parties, no', which became very popular. The slogan helped combat the view that it was sinful for Muslims to vote against Islamic parties.[1] The two most successful Muslim parties in Indonesia's 2004 general elections, the moderate National Awakening and United Development Parties, received 10.6% and 8.1% of the vote, respectively.


  • “The Issue of Modernization among Muslims in Indonesia: A Participant’s Point of View”, in: Gloria Davies, ed. What is Modern in Indonesian Culture, Athens, Ohio, Ohio University, 1978
  • Islam in Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunities, in: Cyriac K. Pullapilly, ed., Islam in the Modern World, Bloomington, Indiana: Crossroads, 1982
  • “The Necessity of Renewing Islamic Thought and Reinvigorating Religious Understanding”, in: Charles Kurzman, ed. Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988
  • “In Search of Islamic Roots for Modern Pluralism: The Indonesian Experiences” in: Mark Woodward ed, Towards a New Paradigm, Recent Developments in Indonesian Islamic Thought, Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University, 1996


  • Abdullah Saeed (1997) “Ijtihād and Innovation in Neo-Modernist Islamic Thought in Indonesia”, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1997, p. 279-295
  • Greg Barton (1997) Indonesia's Nurcholish Madjid and Abdurrahman Wahid as intellectual Ulama: The meeting of Islamic traditionalism and modernism in neo‐modernist thought, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1997, p.  323-350.
  • Ensiklopedia Nurcholis Madjid, Budhy Munawar-Rachman, Feb 2007.


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurcholish_Madjid — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

Jakarta Post
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:00:00 -0700

Just by his sheer appearance, you could tell that Nurcholish Madjid, widely known as Cak Nur, was a learned man. When he passed away on Aug. 29, 2005, the nation eulogized his departure by noting his contributions as a Muslim intellectual who ...


Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:08:49 -0700

“Muslims have different interpretations of the Koran, including of the chapter that talks about marriage,” Zainun Kamal from the Paramadina Foundation, a religious and social institution founded in 1986 by late Islamic scholar Nurcholish Madjid, told ...

Suara Pembaruan

Suara Pembaruan
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:11:15 -0700

Hak menentukan agama, sebagaimana didengungkan jauh-jauh hari oleh cendekiawan Muslim, Nurcholish Madjid (mendiang), sudah difirmankan oleh Allah dalam Quran di Surat Al-Baqarah 2:256, yang berbunyi : Tidak boleh ada paksaan dalam agama.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:55:57 -0700

Jakarta - “Kebenaran agama tak boleh dipaksakan. Hak yang amat asasi ini menjadi hak yang tak boleh diingkari,” begitu cuit yang terlontar dari akun Twitter @fileCaknur. Ya, kalimat bijak tersebut merupakan pemikiran Nurcholish Madjid. Meski berpulang ...


Mon, 25 Aug 2014 05:33:45 -0700

Hal ini, sejalan dengan harapan para pendiri Global Sevilla, salah satunya adalah almarhum Nurcholish Madjid atau lebih dikenal dengan panggilan Cak Nur yang sangat perhatian terhadap pendidikan karakter dan pluralisme. Peran Cak Nur di sekolah ...

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