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This month’s CRCS newsletter features a reflective essay on “decolonizing” how the recognized religions approach indigenous adat communities; a conversation with a Sufi master about “re-reading” the divine in nature; an interview on how to do “practical religious studies”; and reports on recent CRCS activities and events.


Reflecting on the Council of Churches in Indonesia/PGI’s 33rd Seminar on Religions focused on adat communities and indigenous religions, Trisno Susanto calls for repentance from the churches and new ways of thinking about “Indonesian identity and the prophetic messages of religions.” Available in both English and Indonesian.

The Yogyakarta-based French writer Elisabeth Inandiak shares her conversation with Sheikh Khaled Bentounes, the spiritual leader of the Sufi path Alawiyya, on “rereading” the sacred texts in relation to how scientists are rediscovering what the texts already told us: ants, seeds, clouds, and all elements in nature have memory and they communicate with each other.


How can the emerging field of “practical religious studies” contribute to academic study of theology and religious studies? What can the tools of discourse analysis offer to religious studies? These are some of the topics we discussed in an interview with CRCS mentor and friend Prof. Frans Wijsen from Radboud University, the Netherlands.

In March 28 CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum commemorating World Water Day, Prof. Frans Wijsen shared how religious studies is necessary for revitalizing the environment, drawing a project for cleaning up the notoriously polluted Citarum River, West Java. CRCS student Afifur Rochman reports.

In early April, members of the adat community of Ammatoa Kajang, South Sulawesi, along with tourism and forestry officials from Bulukumba Regency came to CRCS for a workshop on developing ecotourism as a way to preserve adat ways of life while bringing economic vitality to the region. CRCS staff member Linah Pary writes a report of this event. (Indonesian)

On World Heritage Day (April 18), CRCS Advanced Study of Buddhism students joined the fifteenth annual Ruwat Rawat Borobudur as artists and traditional cultural groups reclaim the meanings of the great Buddhist stupa called Borobudur within their own contexts. CRCS student Ira Chuarsa reports.

CRCS student Ira Chuarsa reflects on two quite different Buddhist temples in Yogyakarta visited by the CRCS Advanced Study of Buddhism course in order to think about the diverse identities and practices that make up Indonesian Buddhism.


Applications for the 2018/19 academic year are now being accepted by the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS) at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). Applications for admission are due July 3, 2018.


A Conference on Inclusive Religious Education

The Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations (NICMCR) in cooperation with Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW) and the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS) UGM will hold the third international conference on Inclusive Religious Education on May 8, 2018, at UKDW, Yogyakarta. This event is free and open to the public.

CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum

May 9: Pilgrims and 'ritual seks': Heterodox ritual practices in the context of the veneration of saints in Central Java - Volker Gottowik

May 2: Truth in encounter: Investigating change processes of religious identity formation – Eckhard Zemmrich

April 25: Blaspheming justice: Negotiating rights of religious minorities - Al Khanif 

April 18: History and law in the lives of Egypt's Coptic minority – Magdy Behman

CRCS Newsletter of May 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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