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This month’s newsletter features a link to the book Costly Tolerance and its review; an essay on the controversy over objects of cultural heritage in Minahasa; notes from the Religion and Human Rights CRCS intersession course; and a review of a CRCS thesis. The newsletter also features information about the launch of the film Our Land is the Sea on August 8th!


What makes tolerance costly?

Cheap tolerance is indifference. It is the kind of tolerance that avoids any type of meeting with the ‘other’. It is easy to be tolerant towards people of another religion, race, sexual preference or any other kind of identity if they are nearly invisible. Tolerance, i.e. real and sincere tolerance, is costly. (English and Indonesian)


Costly Tolerance: Tantangan Baru Dialog Muslim-Kristen di Indonesia dan Belanda (2018) is a compilation of the selected papers from the 2015 conference on costly tolerance held by the Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations/NICMCR. It can now be downloaded free of charge. (Indonesian)

Dozens of waruga, sarcophagi that are emblematic of Minahasan cultural identity in North Sulawesi, are threatened with destruction due to the local government's new dam project. This essay attempts at voicing some cultural groups’ concerns with the destruction: not only have the waruga been there for centuries, they also hold sacred values for the Minahasans. (Indonesian)

Ethno-religious associations in Indonesia lead to common assumptions that certain ethnic groups are affiliated with particular religions. For instance, Dayak people are often assumed to be Christian. This review of a 2011 MA thesis from CRCS looks at those Dayak who chose to become Muslims and how they maintain their ethno-religious identity.

Some manifestations of religious freedom are in contradiction to advocacy for gender equality, as some religious practices still perpetuate a view that sees women as subordinate to men and suppresses their dignity. How to resolve these tensions? (Indonesian)

Is it feasible to derive justifications from religious doctrines to support human dignity, the very concept which constitutes the foundation of human rights? This essay argues yes, seeing religious justification as having the potential to lead to a wider acceptance of human rights across religions and cultures. (Indonesia)


Our Land is the Sea or Air Tanahku, a short documentary about three generations of a Bajau family in South Sulawesi facing drastic environmental and cultural change, will premier August 8th, 2018, at 6.30 pm at @america, Pacific Place Mall, Level 3, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Jakarta. This film screening is free and open to the public.

The CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum for the upcoming semester will resume in late August. The Wednesday Forum is a weekly discussion held every Wednesday at 1 pm at the Graduate School building of UGM during the active semester. We are seeking applications from speakers interested in presenting on religion-related topics in English.

CRCS Newsletter of August 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: + 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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