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Marriage and Divorce for the Sake of Religion: The Marital Life of Cadari in Indonesia 1

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Abstract The religious transformation experienced by cadari (face-veiled women) in Indonesia belonging to two revivalist movements, Tablighi Jamāʿat and Salafism, has propelled them to change their habitus. The nature of their new pious habitus has shaped the life of these women including their marital life. The embodiment of this pious habitus can be seen in practices related to marriage ranging from choice of marriage partner, interactions with marriage partner, new marriage practices (arranged marriage, early marriage and mass marriage) and termination of marriage. All of these can be regarded as their efforts to construct a pious self and an ideal Islamic family, keluarga sakinah (harmonious family). Since religious doctrines are very important in the life of the cadari, religious homogamy is a crucial aspect in their decision to get married or divorced. While there are some studies on the importance of religious homogamy in sustaining marital satisfaction and stability, the experiences of women in such marriages has often been neglected. This article focuses on the importance of religious homogamy by listening to the experiences of cadari women.

Affiliations: 1: Australian National University


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