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Qur’anic objects and their publics in Indonesia
Kenneth M. George

This chapter conjures an object-oriented political theology that would declare ‘no politics without things,’ and equally, ‘no ethics without things’. The essay explores how religious objects summon and animate national and transnational publics for whom such objects are matters of common concern, taking as its examples two Qur’anic objects that sparked debate among Muslims in Indonesia during the mid-1990s. A cultural politics of belonging and ethical conduct surrounded each object, pivoting especially on the veneration and custodial care Muslims are expected to show toward the Qur’an and its language. The chapter thus suggests ways in which materiality has to be reckoned into the exercise of statecraft, development, conscience, accountability, and address, and so into our ethico-political footing for dwelling in the world together.

in Political theologies and development in Asia