Febi R Ramadhan

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Northwestern U.

Grant number

Gr. 10446

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Ramadhan, Febi (Northwestern U.) "How to Do Things with God: The Making of Incommensurability of Same-Sex Sexualities and Islam in Indonesia"

This research investigates the making of incommensurability between same-sex sexualities and Islam in Indonesia. I focus on Yayasan Peduli Sahabat (henceforth YPS), an online-based Indonesian organization that provides free-of-charge counseling sessions for their clients: Muslims with same-sex attraction (henceforth SSA) who want to live heterosexually. Through the counseling processes, YPS’s counselors teach their clients that SSA is divinely foreordained as a test from Allah that Muslims with SSA need to control and/or overcome. In this research, I argue that Muslims with SSA’s belief on ‘SSA as a divine test from Allah’ stems from heteronormative structuring of religious knowledge, instead of deriving from the Qur’an and the Hadith. My research examines the processes and conditions that produce this religious knowledge and the way that this knowledge shapes Muslims with SSA’s relationships with their God. I will conduct 12 months of ethnographic research with YPS’s counselors, YPS’s clients, and anti-LGBT activists in Indonesia who are related to YPS in order to understand how religious knowledge of ‘SSA as a test from Allah’ in located in contexts across space, time, and scale. My research will contribute to anthropological and interdisciplinary scholarship on Islamic religious epistemology and everyday reconstruction of heteronormativity.