This introductory chapter provides various explanations for calls for the implementation of religious law (sharia) in a modern nation-state. Since the rise of the modern nation-state in the nineteenth century, the supremacy of holy laws has been endlessly challenged. There has been a growing debate about whether the law of a state should remain closely related to religion or be wholly detached from it. In Indonesia, home to more Muslims than any other nation in the world, attempts to give sharia a constitutional status have been undertaken several times since the nation's independence on August 17, 1945. With Indonesia as the central venue of discussion, the chapter delves into the theoretical approaches to be undertaken by this volume in exploring the relationship between religious law and the nation-state.
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