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Productive Intolerance: Godly Nationalism in Indonesia

Abstract Since democratization, Indonesia has played host to a curious form of ethnic conflict: militant vigilante groups attacking a small, socially marginal religious sect called Ahmadiyah. While most scholars attribute the violence to intolerance by radicals on the periphery of society, this arti... Full description

Journal Title: Comparative Studies in Society and History Jul 2014, Vol.56(3), pp.591-621
Main Author: Menchik, Jeremy
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
God
ID: ISSN: 00104175 ; E-ISSN: 14752999 ; DOI: 10.1017/S0010417514000267
Link: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1545321229/?pq-origsite=primo
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title: Productive Intolerance: Godly Nationalism in Indonesia
format: Article
creator:
  • Menchik, Jeremy
subjects:
  • Indonesia
  • Nationalism
  • Religion
  • God
  • Organizations
  • Theocracy
  • Secularism
  • Violence
ispartof: Comparative Studies in Society and History, Jul 2014, Vol.56(3), pp.591-621
description: Abstract Since democratization, Indonesia has played host to a curious form of ethnic conflict: militant vigilante groups attacking a small, socially marginal religious sect called Ahmadiyah. While most scholars attribute the violence to intolerance by radicals on the periphery of society, this article proposes a different reading based on an intertwined reconfiguration of Indonesian nationalism and religion. I suggest that Indonesia contains a common but overlooked example of "godly nationalism," an imagined community bound by a shared theism and mobilized through the state in cooperation with religious organizations. This model for nationalism is modern, plural, and predicated on the exclusion of religious heterodoxy. Newly collected archival and ethnographic material reveal how the state's and Muslim civil society's long-standing exclusion of Ahmadiyah and other heterodox groups has helped produce the "we-feeling" that helps constitute contemporary Indonesian nationalism. I conclude by intervening in a recent debate about religious freedom to suggest that conflicts over blasphemy reflect Muslim civil society's effort to delineate an incipient model of nationalism and tolerance while avoiding the templates of liberal secularism or theocracy. [PUBLICATION ]
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 00104175 ; E-ISSN: 14752999 ; DOI: 10.1017/S0010417514000267
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 00104175
  • 0010-4175
  • 14752999
  • 1475-2999
url: Link


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descriptionAbstract Since democratization, Indonesia has played host to a curious form of ethnic conflict: militant vigilante groups attacking a small, socially marginal religious sect called Ahmadiyah. While most scholars attribute the violence to intolerance by radicals on the periphery of society, this article proposes a different reading based on an intertwined reconfiguration of Indonesian nationalism and religion. I suggest that Indonesia contains a common but overlooked example of "godly nationalism," an imagined community bound by a shared theism and mobilized through the state in cooperation with religious organizations. This model for nationalism is modern, plural, and predicated on the exclusion of religious heterodoxy. Newly collected archival and ethnographic material reveal how the state's and Muslim civil society's long-standing exclusion of Ahmadiyah and other heterodox groups has helped produce the "we-feeling" that helps constitute contemporary Indonesian nationalism. I conclude by intervening in a recent debate about religious freedom to suggest that conflicts over blasphemy reflect Muslim civil society's effort to delineate an incipient model of nationalism and tolerance while avoiding the templates of liberal secularism or theocracy. [PUBLICATION ]
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abstractAbstract Since democratization, Indonesia has played host to a curious form of ethnic conflict: militant vigilante groups attacking a small, socially marginal religious sect called Ahmadiyah. While most scholars attribute the violence to intolerance by radicals on the periphery of society, this article proposes a different reading based on an intertwined reconfiguration of Indonesian nationalism and religion. I suggest that Indonesia contains a common but overlooked example of "godly nationalism," an imagined community bound by a shared theism and mobilized through the state in cooperation with religious organizations. This model for nationalism is modern, plural, and predicated on the exclusion of religious heterodoxy. Newly collected archival and ethnographic material reveal how the state's and Muslim civil society's long-standing exclusion of Ahmadiyah and other heterodox groups has helped produce the "we-feeling" that helps constitute contemporary Indonesian nationalism. I conclude by intervening in a recent debate about religious freedom to suggest that conflicts over blasphemy reflect Muslim civil society's effort to delineate an incipient model of nationalism and tolerance while avoiding the templates of liberal secularism or theocracy. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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