False Prophets? Ontological Conflicts and Religion-Making in an Indonesian Court
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Original versionin Palgrave MacMillan
This chapter examines a blasphemy trial on Lombok in 2010, in which a Muslim who claimed to have received revelations from the Angel Gabriel was charged with the offence of “insulting Islam” and accused of pretending to be a “false prophet.” Probing the ontological conflicts involved in this case, the chapter argues that courts are important sites of contemporary “religion-making.” Using this trial to show how incommensurable worlds are being co-produced by courts and religious authorities, the chapter engages critically with anthropological positions that ontologize difference, suggesting that such approaches risk feeding into a violent politics of religious difference, being ill-suited for capturing the deep plurality within translocal religious traditions, such as Islam.