Mohamad Abdun Nasir
This study examines interreligious marriage from a legal perspective and analyses the historical and empirical evidence for it from the eastern Indonesian island of Lombok. It situates interfaith marriage at the centre of a discursive battle between religion, law, and custom (adat) and as a locus of contestation and negotiation between state, community, and religious leaders, as well as the couples involved and their extended families and communities. Building on Charles Collier’s theory of ‘institutional authority’ and Saba Mahmood’s ‘personal autonomy’, the article argues that issues related to interfaith marriage can be resolved through institutional authority and personal autonomy. Institutional authority constitutes an established structure of power and representation created by the state to manage its people and to serve their interests. Such authority works for, and is contested in, resolving tensions over interreligious interactions, including traditional interfaith marital elopement practised by Muslim and Hindu communities. Although Muslim–Christian relations have occasionally been unstable, interfaith unions rarely become an issue since those marriages reflect more interpersonal than intercommunal relationships, whose settlement is contingent upon personal autonomy.