It may well be the case that the intellectual level of a particular nation is measured by the number of its thinkers that you can find in an encyclopedia. Unfortunately, there are not so many Indonesian thinkers to be found in encyclopedias even though Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. Now John L. Esposito's Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia and is published by Mizan. We took the opportunity of having a look at Esposito's encyclopedia and also ask why so few of our thinkers have entries named after them
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I have discovered my religion: there is nothing more important than books. A library is my place of devotion." There is no doubt that Jean Paul Sartre's comments were going slightly overboard. But they do have a certain resonance when we talk about an encyclopedia, especially one about religion. The more we immerse ourselves in the sea of words, the more our interest in religion will increase. Our imagination is drawn back across the centuries,
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