The Construction of Negative Theology in Pesantren and Madrasa in Malang, East Java


This article discusses the metaphysical construction of divinity in the Indonesian Islamic education institutions, namely madrasa and pesantren. The research has been held in Malang, East Java. It focuses on constructing the negative concept of theology that grows and develops in these Islamic education institutions. In doing so, this study employs a qualitative approach coupled with Miles’ and Hubermann’s data analysis. The study finds that negative theological discourse is an arena of “prophetization” of the divine values ​​whose style of expression is apophatic. Therefore, it constructs its theological knowledge based on the logic of negation and paradox. It also “rejects” the knowledge construction for the same reason. This view affects the system of Islamic education and the framework of its educational objectives to be more oriented to the aspects of humanity and divinity or the profane and transcendental dimension. In other words, negative theology has implications for the axiology of Islamic education.