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This month’s CRCS newsletter features an article on the 1965 issue, a reflection on the Seren Taun event, and two articles on responses to the plight of the Rohingya in Indonesia. We are also reposting the latest CRCS summary of our recent publication on indigenous religious communities. The newsletter also includes three articles by CRCS students on Islamic propagation in Indonesian social media, interreligious study of religions, and a discussion of diversity in Southeast Asian film.


Last month, several groups protested an event held by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation that they perceived as promoting communism. CRCS researcher Suhadi, who wrote the CRCS report on academic freedom, reflects on this case and the significant progress made  in the early Reformasi period on the issue of 1965. (Indonesian)

Reflecting on the Seren Taun event hosted by the Sunda Wiwitan community in Kuningan, West Java, CRCS faculty member Kelli Swazey writes on how the government-imposed discourse of separation between religious and cultural domains has curtailed indigenous religious communities’ rights to religious freedom and cultural identity.


The recently published book by CRCS lecturer Samsul Maarif is now available in English in the form of a summary and review written by CRCS lecturer Kelli Swazey. The document can be downloaded from our website. We hope both book and summary can positively contribute in policy making, academia, and public debate on the topic.

Indonesian responses to the Rakhine issue characterize the crisis as a religious conflict, while others insist that religion plays only an instrumental role in delegitimizing the Rohingya’s claims to belonging in Myanmar. This article argues that while religion contributes to the crisis, Indonesian narratives about the crisis leave out the important issue of citizenship. (Indonesian)

Muslim-Buddhist ethnoreligious tension in Myanmar has roots in the history of pre-Independence Burma. This piece by Prof. Imtiyaz Yusuf from the Centre for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding at Mahidol University in Thailand provides historical context on the Islam and the diversity of Muslims in Myanmar and Muslim-Buddhist relations in the country. (Indonesian)

This Wednesday Forum report by a CRCS student on the presentation by Hew Wai Weng describes his research on the Islamic propagation (dakwah) activities of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia-affiliated Chinese-Indonesian Islamic preacher Felix Siauw, who has millions of followers on social media.

One of the biggest challenges in studying a religion other than one's own is to be aware of of the influence of personal bias. This article by a CRCS student discusses three models of studying religions and why understanding other religions by using your own religious standard can be problematic. (Indonesian)

In the CRCS course Religion and Film: Diversities and Identities students watched the movie Talentime by Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad. This reflection by a CRCS student on the movie discusses the interplay between media, power, and the discourse that constructs religious, ethnic, and national identities.


The Imam and the Pastor

Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye will speak in Jakarta and Yogyakarta about their experiences in mediating conflicts and working on reconciliation efforts between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria in the 1990s. This event, followed by a three-day workshop, is held in cooperation with PUSAD Paramadina, LAIM Maluku, MPRK UGM, the Tanenbaum Foundation, and the Tifa Foundation.

CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum

October 11: Human-Centered Security: Reimagining Conflict Stakeholder Relationships – Maria (Deng) Giguiento

October 4: Legal Pluralism in Adat Land Conflict Resolution – Linda Yanti Sulistiawati

September 27: Islamic Christology, A Starting Point for Intereligious Dialogue? – Mun’im Sirry

September 20: Participation of Women in Villages to Change Patriarchal Culture – Arif Sugeng Widodo

Copyright © 2017 CRCS UGM. All rights reserved.
Newsletter of October 2017

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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