A Tribute to Excellence: Faculty of Islamic Studies UIII and Office of Leiden University in Indonesia Host Successful Symposium in Honor of Prof. Nico Kaptein

September 20, 2023

Contributor: Atia Adjani

To bid farewell to Prof. Nico Kaptein, a renowned Dutch scholar, the Faculty of Islamic Studies, together with the Office of Leiden University in Indonesia, jointly organized a successful farewell symposium. Under Prof. Kaptein’s guidance, many MA and PhD students have achieved notable positions within their institutions back in Indonesia.

The symposium was held on August 29-30, 2023, and managed to receive over 150 abstract submissions in the lead-up to this event. From these submissions, only 32 scholars, mostly Prof. Kaptein’s former students, were chosen to present their papers. The Symposium focused on the theme “From the Past to the Future: Islam and Religious Authority in Indonesia”.

In honor of his accomplished career in academia, Prof. Kaptein, who officially retired in May 2023, was asked to present his paper titled “Fatwas Khatib Minangkabau (1860-1916) and Religious Authority in Indonesia”, which he co-presented with Dr. Phil. Syafiq Hasyim.

Prof. Kaptein emphasized that his paper aims to shed light on the mufti-ship of Ahmad Khatib and explores the broader implications in terms of religious authority.

The Rector of UIII, Prof. Komaruddin Hidayat, admires Prof. Kaptein for his lifelong commitment to the study of Islam in Southeast Asia and the lasting impact he has left on the academic community. “Today, we gather not just to bid farewell to a distinguished scholar but to honor his legacy,” he stated.

Reflecting on the farewell symposium, Din Wahid, a participant and also one of Prof. Kaptein’s former students, commended the event’s professionalism and exceptional organization. Wahid highlighted that:

“The religious-themed presentations delivered by each participant, tailored to their area of expertise. Other universities should adopt this seminar model, which emphasizes quality over quantity by targeting a smaller but highly knowledgeable audience.” Wahid stated.

Prof. Yanwar Pribadi, the convener of the Farewell Symposium, highlighted the significance of the event as a heartfelt reunion for his students. He emphasized that the symposium not only gathered accomplished minds but also allowed his students to reunite and share cherished memories.

This farewell symposium was not only a gathering of accomplished minds but also a meaningful reunion for his students. His contributions and influence extend not only to that global scholarly community but also to the lives of his students.

We wensen je veel succes!