Islam, Law, and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning

Islam, Law, and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning


By (author) John R. Bowen

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Paperback $49.99
  • Format: Hardback | 306 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 234mm x 23mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 23 June 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521824826
  • ISBN 13: 9780521824828
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Illustrations note: 1 map 6 tables
  • Sales rank: 1,364,524

Product description

In Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, Muslims struggle to reconcile radically different sets of social norms and laws, including those derived from Islam, local social norms, and contemporary ideas about gender equality and rule of law. In this 2003 study, John Bowen explores this struggle, through archival and ethnographic research in villages and courtrooms of the Aceh Province, Sumatra, and through interviews with national religious and legal figures. He analyses the social frameworks for disputes about land, inheritance, marriage, divorce, Islamic History and, more broadly, about the relationships between the state and Islam, and between Muslims and non-Muslims. The book speaks to debates carried out in all societies about how people can live together with their deep differences in values and ways of life. It will be welcomed by scholars and students across the social sciences, particularly those interested in anthropology, cultural sociology and political theory.

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Author information

John R. Bowen is Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and Chair of the Program in Social Thought and Analysis at Washington University in St Louis. He is the author of Sumatran Politics and Poetics (1991), Muslims through Discourse (1993), Religions through Practice, 2nd edition (2001), and the co-editor of Critical Comparisons in Politics and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Review quote

'... John Bowen has presented one of the most comprehensive studies of the workings of legal pluralism in Indonesia ... impressive. This is indeed a book that should be read by all interested in the origins, processes and consequences of legal pluralism in Indonesia and the problems of gender equality and justice.' Asian Anthropology 'The latest volume of Bowen's Gayo trilogy is superb anthropology.' Rezensionen

Table of contents

Part I. Village Repertoires: 1. Law, religion and pluralism; 2. Adat's local inequalities; 3. Remapping Adat; Part II. Reasoning Legally through Scripture: 4. The contours of the courts; 5. The judicial history of 'consensus'; 6. The poisoned gift; 7. Historicizing scripture, justifying equality; Part III. Governing Muslims through Family: 8. Whose word is law?; 9. Gender equality in the family?; 10. Justifying religious boundaries; 11. Public reasoning across cultural pluralism.