Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change


This paper aims to investigate how marriage customs as well as the perception of religion and its role in daily and family life changes within the context of religious plurality. This study specifically focuses on the experience of interreligious marriages on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken in both Bahasa Indonesia and English in north and south Bali and minimally in east Bali. Twenty-one respondents were garnered in seventeen interview sessions. Findings showed a variety of means of dealing with this plurality, including choosing to follow only one faith, practising aspects of several faiths together and participating in different traditions individually. Many of these experiences reflected the conditions at the time of marriage as well as the values upheld by the society. While this paper chooses to focus solely on the religious aspects of these marriages, it should be noted that religious differences also work in tandem with cultural, racial, ethnic and even caste differences. However these other aspects are not discussed at length here.


Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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