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This newsletter features information on the launch of our redesigned website, a brief schedule of our weekly public lecture series the Wednesday Forum, our Spring semester course offerings, and our new media project in collaboration with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawai'i.


New website design

This month we'll be launching our newly redesigned CRCS website, which reflects our continuing focus on making the products of our research accessible to the public, as well as providing a space for the open discussion about issues of freedom of religion and belief, diversity, and religion and culture in Indonesia. The new web page highlights our publications, our public education programs, and our featured articles.


Starting the CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum for this semester, Dr. Arskal Salim, who currently serves as the Director of Islamic Higher Education at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Indonesia, will deliver a public lecture on the politics of sharia on the Aceh-North Sumatra border. Not as usual, this forum will be held at the auditorium of UGM’s Graduate School Building.

All academic courses at CRCS are conducted in English, and we accept at-large international students on a case by case basis. Courses for this semester include Research Methods in Religious Studies; Religion, State and Society; Indigenous Religons; Interreligious Dialogue; Religion and Tourism; and Advanced Study of Christianity and Buddhism. For inquiries on enrollment, please contact

In collaboration with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii (CSEAS UHM), CRCS will be shooting three short films on religious diversity in various locations around Indonesia in 2018. These films are supported by a grant from the US Department of Education as part of the Religion and Diversity Initiative. This project is aimed at creating educational resources on diversity in Southeast Asia for educational institutions in the US and Indonesia. The finished products will be hosted on the CRCS and CSEAS websites and along  with resources that will assist educators to include these media products in developing lesson plans or public discussions.
The first episode of the film series will begin production in March of 2018 in Wakitobi National Park. Video journalist and creator of the
Global Workshop Matt Colaciello and CRCS faculty member Kelli Swazey will work with the Bajau village of Sampela to document how the community's Islamic identity and their  indigenous religious practices informs their relationship with the ocean environment of their home in the Tukang Besi archipelago.


Now in its eighth year, the Wednesday Forum is held during the active semester, and is free and open to the general public. The forum aims to bring academics, activists and members of the public together to discuss cultural and religious issues. All talks are conducted in English. The Wednesday Forum will be held every Wednesday during the Spring 2018 semester beginning February 7th, from 13:00 - 14:30, at Gadjah Mada's Graduate School building in room 406.  
We are still accepting applications of topics for this semester's forum. If you are interested in becoming speaker, please send a 150-word abstract of your proposed topic and a short bio to
Upcoming Talks:

February 7:
Sharia Law and the Politics of a Dominant Culture on the Aceh-North Sumatra Border - Arskal Salim
February 14: Covering Religion, Faith and Belief in a "Post-Truth" Era - Febriana Firdaus


Newsletter of February 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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