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This month we feature a recent CRCS report on defamation of religion and a series of our books on various issues that are now available for download. A new report on the contestation over interpretations of Pancasila will be released on our website this month.


A report on defamation of religion

The 1965 Law on the Prevention of Abuse and Defamation of Religion has been reviewed by the Constitutional Court twice. Each time the court reaffirmed its constitutionality. In this report, CRCS faculty member Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir elaborates possible alternatives to deal with the so-called “defamation” of religion while minimizing the use of the law.


For the third time, the law on defamation of religion is being reviewed by the Constitutional Court, at the request of a group of Ahmadis accompanied by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI). CRCS lecturer (Dr Zainal Abidin Bagir) and alumnus (Dr Al Khanif) served as expert witnesses during a judicial review session last month.

Indigenous religions’ status has become a subject of dispute among political groups in Indonesia’s successive governments. This 2017 book by CRCS faculty member Dr. Samsul Maarif traces the history of political recognition for indigenous religions; it is now available for download, along with its English summary by Dr. Kelli Swazey.

Yogyakarta once declared itself a “city of tolerance”. However, acts of vigilantism against minorities has drawn attention to increasing intolerance in the city.  This book (2017) by CRCS faculty member Dr. Iqbal Ahnaf argues that intolerant acts in this “Special Region” are not only a symptom of an increase in religious conservatism, but also due to the changing structural landscape among political elites.

Discourse on pluralism in Indonesia is often narrowed down to a theological and philosophical discussion. This book focuses on how to manage a diverse multicultural society while providing a just and civilized public space for all citizens. This book contains theoretical and practical concerns as well as a discussion of specific issues such as women, youth, and religious education in public schools.

Indonesia has a long history of interreligious dialogue that has been institutionalized since 1960. This book (2010) documents the history of interreligious dialogue practices in Indonesia, and proposes some ideas for improvement. The book's primary aim is to serve as a guide for interreligious dialogue practitioners and activists, and it is now available for download.

The case of persecution and violence against Shiites in Sampang, who after five years are still internally displaced, shows that we cannot understand this issue as merely a case of intolerance and sectarianism. This book (2016), derived from the master’s thesis of CRCS student Muhammad Afdillah, provides context on the complex background of the conflict.

Men and masculinity are often associated with conflict and violence. Challenging this common perception, Dr Wening Udasmoro presented at the CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum about men’s roles and their strategies in preventing conflict and maintaining stability in Wayame, Ambon and Tanoeh Anoe, Aceh, two regions that experienced communal conflict.


Newsletter of March 2018

The Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS) is a Master's Degree program in Religious Studies and a research center at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM).
Gedung Sekolah Pascasarjana UGM Floors 3 & 4
Jl. Teknika Utara, Pogung, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 55281
Telephone/Fax : + 62274-544976. Email:



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Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS), Universitas Gadjah Mada · Gedung Sekolah Pascasarjana UGM Lantai III – IV, Jalan Teknika Utara, Pogung · Yogyakarta 55281 · Indonesia

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