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Recognizing the International Day of the World's Indigenous People, this month's newsletter features two perspectives on indigenous communities. It also features the newest CRCS report on threats to academic freedom in Indonesia; a book review on the myth of religious violence; an analysis of Indonesian reactions to violence against Rohingya; and two articles on the local dynamics of legislation pertaining to religious issues.

CRCS faculty member Zainal Abidin Bagir writes on why efforts to save the rainforests need support from religious and indigenous communities, reflecting on the United Nations and Development Programme (UNDP)'s Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in Oslo in June 2017 where people from various religious backgrounds and members of indigenous communities launched a declaration on rainforest conservation. (Indonesian)

Commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Mohamad Miqdad, a facilitator for our Diversity Management School (SPK), reflects on whether Indonesia’s adat and indigenous communities are sufficiently self-determined and autonomous in facing the state-imposed policies, particularly those on communal land rights and agricultural management. (Indonesian)


Indonesia’s universities have faced increasing threats to their academic freedom, mainly from vigilante religious groups. In our newest report, CRCS researcher Suhadi presents and analyzes  data collected over the few last years on threats to academic freedom. The report can be downloaded for free. (Indonesian)

Conventional wisdom these days says that religion is prone to violence. This common belief helps to construct a certain political discourse and configuration of power, namely that based on secular-liberal values. This is a review of William Cavanaugh’s book The Myth of Religious Violence (Oxford University Press, 2009). (Indonesian)

Two discourses characterize the Indonesian reactions to the Rohingya tragedy in Myanmar: first, that religion is indeed the main cause of the conflict, and second, that religion has nothing to do with the conflict. Utilizing theories learned in our course on religion and violence, CRCS student Husni Mubarok counters these simplistic views. (Indonesian)

In 2015, Aceh witnessed a number of conflicts that are both interreligious (between Muslims and Christians) and intrareligious (between mainstream Sunni and “Wahhabi” Muslims). CRCS Diversity Management School alumnus Yogi Febriandi writes on the conflicts that have motivated the local government to issue religious bylaws (qanun) on “religious harmony” and “belief protection”. (Indonesian)

After the former governor of Jakarta, Ahok, was accused of blasphemy, no less than 59 people across Indonesia have been persecuted on the accusations of either blasphemy or insulting ulema. CRCS alumnus Hary Widyantoro describes the different attitude from the Islam Defenders’ Front (FPI) in Balikpapan towards a physician who was persecuted due to charges of blasphemy brought against him. (Indonesian)


Diversity Management School

We are seeking fifteen alumni of the CRCS Diversity Management School (Sekolah Pengelolaan Keragaman/SPK) to apply for the advanced level SPK that will be held in Yogyakarta from October 2-8, 2017. All participants of previous SPK are eligible to apply. Applicants are required to fill out an application form and submit a 1,000-1,500 word research and writing proposal. (Indonesian)

CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum

September 13: A Religion of Love: The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Understanding Islam by Dr Haidar Bagir

September 6: Can Weak States Be Complicit in Extremism?: Lessons from Yogyakarta by Dr M Iqbal Ahnaf

August 30: Social Media, Visual Dakwah and Islamist Persuasion in Indonesia by Dr Hew Wai Weng

August 23: Democracy and Political-Legal Secularism in Indonesia by Gde Dwitya Arief Metera

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