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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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195 news items

Jakarta Post
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:03:45 -0800

Outstanding former HMI members like the late Nurcholish Madjid and other progressive thinkers have left a precious legacy of preserving democracy in Indonesia. Amid the rise of political Islam, a pluralist Indonesia without the HMI is beyond imagination.

Astro Awani

Astro Awani
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:15:00 -0800

Today, with Reformasi already 16 years behind us, what can Muslim democrats learn from the legacy of the likes of Gus Dur and Nurcholish Madjid in terms of giving the Muslim world the new impetus to deal with the multifarious challenges? 32. I believe ...
Jakarta Post
Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:42:23 -0800

He studied at Monash University in Melbourne and Australian National University in Canberra and worked as a lecturer for Paramadina University, which was founded by the late Nurcholish Madjid, a respected Muslim figure who promoted pluralism.

Jakarta Post

Jakarta Post
Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:35:05 -0800

Countdown: Then president Soeharto speaks to journalists after meeting with a number of public figures to discuss student protests on May 19, 1998, two days before he stepped down. Among the participants at the meeting were Nurcholish Madjid, Emha ...


Sun, 08 Nov 2015 20:42:30 -0800

Almarhum Nurcholish Madjid atau Cak Nur menuliskan bahwa HMI yang dirintis oleh Lafan Pane sejak 1946 mengatasi jurang pemisah antara mahasiswa 'agama' dan mahasiswa 'umum'. Mayoritas mahasiswa Sekolah Tinggi Islam (STI) berasal dari ...


Tue, 10 Nov 2015 19:22:30 -0800

Dua tokoh yang banyak berperan ikut meruntuhkan politik kaum santri adalah mantan Ketua Umum Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam Nurcholish Madjid dan mantan Ketua Umum Pengurus Besar Nahdlatul Ulama Abdurrahman Wahid. "Cak Nur punya kontribusi ...


Fri, 30 Oct 2015 03:29:27 -0700

Bertempat di Aula Nurcholish Madjid, Universitas Paramadina, Jakarta, kegiatan yang diprakarsai Komunikonten, Institut Media Sosial dan Diplomasi ini menghadirkan sejumlah narasumber untuk berdiskusi dan menandatangani spanduk deklarasi bersama ...

Koran Jakarta

Koran Jakarta
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 10:14:03 -0700

Penampilannya sederhana. Ia senang berkemeja lengan pendek. Cita-cita masa kecilnya menjadi seorang masinis kereta api. Keyakinan bahwa kebenaran memiliki kekuatan sendiri untuk membela diri begitu kuat terpancar dalam setiap pemikiran dan ...

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