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Happy New Year! This month we are featuring a review of major religious issues in Indonesia over the last year; a piece on the recent Constitutional Court ruling on indigenous religions; a reflection on Christmas; and our students’ coverage of Wednesday Forum lectures. The weekly Wednesday Forum will resume in early February.


A review of major religious events in Indonesia 2017

2017 witnessed major political events related to religion, including the defeat of the former (Chinese, Christian) governor of Jakarta in the election there in April;  the dissolution of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia in June; and the October Constitutional Court ruling on the recognition of indigenous religions. We review  them here and provide links to related articles posted over the year at the CRCS website. (Indonesian)

After the Constitutional Court nullified articles of the Civil Administration Law that were discriminatory toward followers of indigenous faiths, some Muslim leaders objected to the ruling, saying that indigenous faiths are not religions. In this piece, originally published at New Mandala, Azis Anwar makes a counter-argument to those Muslim leaders.

Dr. Izak Lattu argues that Christmas constitutes God’s presence in the world: with the birth of Jesus  into a specific historical context, God joined in solidarity with humanity, a truth that Lattu shows can be a basis for solidarity between Muslims and Christians in Palestine resisting together the US President's recent declaration concerning Jerusalem. (Indonesian)

The Reformation led to more than a century of war between Protestants and Catholics in Europe, but it also brought about some results that significantly formed the modern world. Prof. Hans-Peter Grosshans pointed out eight such transformations in a special Wednesday Forum commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Muhammadiyah has been the most successful and long-lasting modernist Muslim organizations in Muslim-majority countries. However, it has never grown outside its land of birth, except with a notable exception in Singapore. Here is a coverage on this topic presented by Dr. Mark Woodward at CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum.

In October, CRCS hosted a public lecture and 3-day workshop featuring Imam Ashafa and Pastor James, both from Nigeria, as well as Maria “Deng” Gigiuento from the Philippines and Jacky Manuputty from Ambon.  Reports written by CRCS students have been compiled into a small book that can now be downloaded for free. (Indonesian)


The upcoming semester will begin in the first week of February, as will the CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum, our weekly English-language series on issues related to religion and religious studies. We invite academics, graduate students, and activists interested in presenting their research to contact the Wednesday Forum team.

Newsletter of January 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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