Islam, Law, and Equality in Indonesia

An Anthropology of Public Reasoning

Islam, Law, and Equality in Indonesia

Muslims currently struggle to reconcile radically different sets of social norms and laws (including those derived from Islam, as well as contemporary ideas about gender equality and law) in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country. John Bowen explores their struggle through archival and ethnographic research and interviews with national religious and legal figures. His book relates to debates in any society where people struggle to live together with extreme differences in values and lifestyles and is welcomed by scholars and students in all branches of the social sciences.

Women and Property Rights in Indonesian Islamic Legal Contexts

Women and Property Rights in Indonesian Islamic Legal Contexts

In this volume, eight scholars of Indonesian Islam examine women’s access to property in law courts and in village settings. The chapters go beyond the world of legal and scriptural texts to ask how women in fact fare at critical moments of marriage, divorce, and death.

Democracy and Islam in Indonesia

Democracy and Islam in Indonesia

Indonesia's military government collapsed in 1998, igniting fears that economic, religious, and political conflicts would complicate any democratic transition. Yet in every year since 2006, the world's most populous Muslim country has received high marks from international democracy-ranking organizations. In this volume, political scientists, religious scholars, legal theorists, and anthropologists examine the theory and practice of Indonesia's democratic transition and its ability to serve as a model for other Muslim countries. They compare the Indonesian example with similar scenarios in Chile, Spain, India, and Tunisia, as well as with the failed transitions of Yugoslavia, Egypt, and Iran. Essays explore the relationship between religion and politics and the ways in which Muslims became supportive of democracy even before change occurred, and they describe how innovative policies prevented dissident military groups, violent religious activists, and secessionists from disrupting Indonesia's democratic evolution. The collection concludes with a discussion of Indonesia's emerging "legal pluralism" and of which of its forms are rights-eroding and rights-protecting.

State Management of Religion in Indonesia

State Management of Religion in Indonesia

Although Indonesia is generally considered to be a Muslim state, and is indeed the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, it has a sizeable Christian minority as a legacy of Dutch colonialism, with Christians often occupying relatively high social positions. This book examines the management of religion in Indonesia. It discusses how Christianity has developed in Indonesia, how the state, though Muslim in outlook and culture, is nevertheless formally secular, and how the principal Christian church, the Java Christian Church, has adapted its practices to fit local circumstances. It examines religious violence and charts the evolution of the state’s religious policies, analysing in particular the impact of the 1974 Marriage Law showing how it enabled extensive state regulation, but how in practice, rather than reinforcing religious divisions, inter-religious marriage, involving the conversion of one party, is widespread. Overall, the book shows how Indonesia is developing its own brand of secularism, neither a full-blooded Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, nor an outright secular state like Turkey.

Alternative Islamic Discourses and Religious Authority

Alternative Islamic Discourses and Religious Authority

Like anywhere else, the present-day Islamic world too is grappling with modernity and postmodernity, secularisation and globalisation. Muslims are raising questions about religious representations and authority. This has given rise to the emergence of alternative Islamic discourses which challenge binary oppositions and dichotomies of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, continuity and change, state and civil society. It also leads to a dispersal of authority, a collapse of existing hierarchical structures and gender roles. This book further argues that the centre of gravity of many of these alternative Islamic discourses is shifting from the Arabic-speaking 'heartland' towards the geographical peripheries of the Muslim world and expatriate Muslims in North America and Europe. At the same time, in view of recent seismic shifts in the political constellation of the Middle East, the trends discussed in this book hold important clues for the possible direction of future developments in that volatile part of the Muslim world.

Modernization, Tradition and Identity

The Kompilasi Hukum Islam and Legal Practice in the Indonesian Religious Courts

Modernization, Tradition and Identity

Nurlaelawati's close and contextually sensitive analysis of judicial practice in Indonesia's Islamic courts yields invaluable insights into the subtle dynamics of legal change in a modern Islamic legal system. Prof. Mark Cammack, Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles --

A New Anthropology of Islam

A New Anthropology of Islam

This powerful, accessible new study explores the contributions that anthropology has made to the study and understanding of Islam.

The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics

The Deployment of Adat from Colonialism to Indigenism

The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics

The Indonesian term adat means ‘custom’ or ‘tradition’, and carries connotations of sedate order and harmony. Yet in recent years it has suddenly become associated with activism, protest and violence. This book investigates the revival of adat in Indonesian politics, identifying its origins, the historical factors that have conditioned it and the reasons behind its recent blossoming. It considers whether the adat revival is a constructive contribution to Indonesia’s new political pluralism or a divisive, dangerous and reactionary force, and examines the implications for the development of democracy, human rights, civility and political stability. The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics provides detailed coverage of the growing significance of adat in Indonesian politics. It is an important resource for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary Indonesian political landscape.

Why the French Don't Like Headscarves

Islam, the State, and Public Space

Why the French Don't Like Headscarves

The French government's 2004 decision to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious signs from public schools puzzled many observers, both because it seemed to infringe needlessly on religious freedom, and because it was hailed by many in France as an answer to a surprisingly wide range of social ills, from violence against females in poor suburbs to anti-Semitism. Why the French Don't Like Headscarves explains why headscarves on schoolgirls caused such a furor, and why the furor yielded this law. Making sense of the dramatic debate from his perspective as an American anthropologist in France at the time, John Bowen writes about everyday life and public events while also presenting interviews with officials and intellectuals, and analyzing French television programs and other media. Bowen argues that the focus on headscarves came from a century-old sensitivity to the public presence of religion in schools, feared links between public expressions of Islamic identity and radical Islam, and a media-driven frenzy that built support for a headscarf ban during 2003-2004. Although the defense of laïcité (secularity) was cited as the law's major justification, politicians, intellectuals, and the media linked the scarves to more concrete social anxieties--about "communalism," political Islam, and violence toward women. Written in engaging, jargon-free prose, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves is the first comprehensive and objective analysis of this subject, in any language, and it speaks to tensions between assimilation and diversity that extend well beyond France's borders.