The manuscript uses archival materials to tell the story of tensions surrounding the building of Christian churches in south Aceh in the 1970s, which culminated in the burning of several churches in 1978 and 1979. It then illustrates continuities between these earlier controversies in Aceh and those of a similar nature that have occured in Indonesia since. I use this comparison to reflect upon how interreligious conflict and confrontation in modern Indonesia has been informed by territorialized ideas of the archipelago’s religious history and future. I argue that these territorialized notions of religious difference and history today inform such things as the nationallevel legal and bureaucratic regulations that govern the building of houses of worship, which in turn contributes to the naturalization of these ideas in Indonesian public life. In making this argument, I engage recent discussions of Indonesian political traditions of tolerance without liberalism, especially Jeremy Menchik’s formulation of “godly nationalism,” illustrating how attention to lived experiences of the space and time of the archipelago helps make sense of how such traditions come to be compelling beyond circles of political elites.


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pp. 1-24
Launched on MUSE
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