Are Islam and feminism inherently at odds? Is there a contradiction between piety and gender justice? This is the guiding theme for Rachel Rinaldo,...

Are Islam and feminism inherently at odds? Is there a contradiction between piety and gender justice? This is the guiding theme for Rachel Rinaldo, professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, in her book Mobilizing Piety: Islam and Feminism in Indonesia (Oxford University Press, 2013). After more than eighteen months of fieldwork in the contemporary nation with the highest Muslim population, Indonesia, she found that global discourses on Islam and feminism were constantly in dialogue in this local context. Mobilizing Piety is an ethnography of women activists in Jakarta during a time of democratization, popular religious resurgence, and post-9/11 anxieties and suspicions. Rinaldo examined a feminist NGO, Muslim women’s organizations, and a Muslim political party to see how piety and politics intersected. In our conversation we discussed public aspects of piety, field theory, agency, polygamy, pornography, bodily politics, religion as cultural schema, and gender.

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