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This month’s newsletter features five essays from CRCS students on religious violence, ethnoreligious conflict, and the history of a great Buddhist university in Sumatra. We are also announcing the release of the full version of the film Our Land is the Sea, now available online.


This film about the interconnection between cultural and biological diversity in the lives of a Bajau community in Southeast Sulawesi is now available at the UH CSEAS website and on Youtube. Read more about the film in Indonesian at CRCS webpage and its accompanying educational materials at the CSEAS website.


The island of Suvarnadvipa (Sanskrit for the Golden Island, now called Sumatra) was home to a great Buddhist university, a vast center of knowledge at the crossroads of the Buddhist Sea Route, which attracted sages like I-Tsing (Chinese) from the 7th century and Atisha (Tibetan) from the 11th century.


The main narrative that spread across Indonesia during the conflict in Ambon focused on separatism, ethnicity, and—most importantly —religion (Christians vs Muslims). However, religion plays a role both as a catalyst and an inspiration for the resolution of conflict and reconciliation in post-conflict Ambon.


Understanding religious violence as resulting from ideology or the psychosocial problems of the perpetrators is not enough. The case of Gama’a Islamiyya in Egypt, for example, suggests the view that the way the state deals with violent religious groups determines the repertoire of peaceful/violent choices available to them. (Indonesian)

By looking at local-level political dynamics as an explanation for the direction of Indonesian political reform we can gain insight into how  Indonesian nationhood has been, and will always be, shaped by the negotiation of political contracts between local powers and the central government, as the cases of Minahasa and Madura show.

Prof. Dajani Daoudi of Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University gave a talk last month at UGM’s Faculty of Cultural Sciences, arguing that for the possibility of peace in Palestine, there is a need to navigate through complex political rivalries, and for a moderate (wasatiyya) Islam. (Indonesian)


CRCS Newsletter of November 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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