Islam and the Limits of the State

Reconfigurations of Practice, Community and Authority in Contemporary Aceh


This book examines the relationship between the state state implementation of Shariʿa and diverse lived realities of everyday Islam in contemporary Aceh, Indonesia. With chapters covering topics ranging from NGOs and diaspora politics to female ulama and punk rockers, the volume opens new perspectives on the complexity of Muslim discourse and practice in a society that has experienced tremendous changes since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. These detailed accounts of and critical reflections on how different groups in Acehnese society negotiate their experiences and understandings of Islam highlight the complexity of the ways in which the state is both a formative and a limited force with regard to religious and social transformation.

Contributors are: Dina Afrianty, R. Michael Feener, Kristina Groβmann, Reza Idria, David Kloos, Antje Missbach, Benjamin Otto, Jan-Michiel Otto, Annemarie Samuels and Eka Srimulyani.
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R. Michael Feener is Research Leader of the Religion and Globalization Research Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. His previous publications on Aceh include Shariʿa and Social Engineering, and (with Patrick Daly & Anthony Reid), Mapping the Acehnese Past, and From the Ground Up.

David Kloos, Ph.D. (2013), is a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) in Leiden and has conducted extensive historical and ethnographic research on Islam in Aceh.

Annemarie Samuels, Ph.D. (2012), is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam and has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork on the post-tsunami reconstruction process in Aceh. Her work has been published previously in, amongst others, American Anthropologist and Anthropology Today.
"Islam and the Limits of the State is a must-read for anyone with an interest in contemporary Aceh, Islam and the state, Islamic legal systems in practice, and Islam and gender."
Daniel Andrew Birchok in: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 172 (2016).
List of Contributors




R. Michael Feener State Shari‘a and its limits

Annemarie Samuels Hikmah and narratives of change: How different temporalities shape the present and the future in post-tsunami Aceh

David Kloos Sinning and ethical improvement in contemporary Aceh

Kristina Großmann Women’s rights activists and the drafting process of the Islamic Criminal Law Code (Qanun Jinayat)

Dina Afrianty Local women’s NGOs and the reform of Islamic law in Aceh: The case of MISPI

Eka Srimulyani Teungku Inong Dayah: Female religious leaders in contemporary Aceh

Reza Idria Muslim punks and state Shariʿa

Benjamin Otto &
Jan Michiel Otto Practices and perceptions of Shariʿa reinforcement in Banda Aceh: The Wilayatul Hisbah and local communities

Antje Missbach “That is Jakarta’s project”: Views from the Acehnese diaspora on Shariʿa, self-determination and political conspiracy

Students and scholars concerned with the topics of state Islamic Studies, Law and Society, and the Anthropology of Islam, as well as broader circles of scholars and development practitioners interested in social and religious transformations in post-disaster/post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia.
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