Interreligious and Intercultural StudiesVol 2 No 2 (2019)
This is the third edition of the International Journal on Interreligious and Intercultural Studies (IJIIS) with some papers that were featured in the international conference held by Universitas Hindu Indonesia (UNHI) on August 30, 2019. The conference, entitled “Religion and violence in Asia and Europe”, invited scholars from the Philippines, Australia, Germany, and Indonesia. Scholars from UNHI’s partners i.e. Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS) and Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) also participated actively in the preparation and execution of the conference.
The keynote speaker, panelists, and speakers spoke to the theme from varied perspectives from anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, political science to international relations. The conference essentially posed the question of whether the conflict is intrinsically connected to religion; or whether religion promotes and encourages violence. It also problematizes the frequent prejudice and stereotypical thinking that religious people are inherently radical and intolerant and henceforth closely associated with violent extremism. In recent years, the latter argument introduces to the world the over-exhausted notion of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), which has manifested in many ‘development’ programs in Islamicate countries or nations with significant Muslim populations.
In this edition, readers are presented with a number of fascinating research articles. Husein presents her research on Indonesian youth experience in an inter-religious dialog. Oza gives an analysis on the issues of equity and equality in India. Meanwhile, Sari provides an insight on the experience of the Cham people in Vietnam on the contestation between and among religious believers.
Ridwan gives us an analysis into the little known phenomenon of religious transnationalism in the province of Papua in the easternmost part of Indonesia. Japee problematizes the predicament of the much-celebrated “knowledge society”. And Marek from Hamburg gives us a glimpse of Germany’s social polarization, which was heightened due to the recent influx of immigrants and displaced people from the Middle East.
Puspitasari discusses the theoretical debate pertaining to the collapse of Suharto’s New Order regime and unpacked the theories on rational choice and social solidarity. Regus examines the position of religious minorities in Indonesia through democratic transitional processes. Lastly, Castro assesses the difficult relationship between religion and politics based on the outcome of the recent Philippines elections.
In the end, I would like to sincerely thank I Ketut Ardhana, I Made Damriyasa from UNHI and colleagues from LIPI such Yekti Maunati, Dundin Zaenuddin, who have all made this endeavor possible since last year. I would also like to mention Adi Widyatmika’s discipline and commitment in pushing forward the publication of this journal’s third edition. Without his passion, I would think that this edition would not have materialized in time. I hope this edition will contribute to the already existing discussion and exuberant debate about religion and violence among academics in Indonesia, Southeast Asia and beyond.
Interreligious and Intercultural StudiesVol 2 No 1 (2019)
This second edition of the International Journal of Interreligious and Intercultural Studies (IJIIS) features some papers derived from an international conference held at Bali-based Universitas Hindu Indonesia (UNHI) in December 2018. The 2nd International Conference on Inter-Religious and Intercultural Studies entitled “Religious Pluralism in Southeast Asia” was held on December 6, 2018, inviting both Indonesian and overseas scholars from Germany, Thailand, and Malaysia. As usual, scientists from the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) in Jakarta also attended the IJIIS conference.
The conference highlighted the region’s highly dynamic nature from the long cultural development lens. It assumes the region as a historical meeting point of major civilizations and cultures. However, in contemporary period, the embedded religio-spiritual practices and longtime intercultural relations, in both mainland and archipelagic Southeast Asia, are threatened by the negative impact of globalization and the pervasive disruption caused largely by the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Among others, identity politics, social polarization, religious conservatism and radicalism have played a role in shattering the regional pluralistic legacy.
In that respect, scholars and researchers of the region need to grasp the fast paced development, and inform on such phenomena could potentially and dramatically change the way one conceives of the idea of the nation, state and society. With the increasing irrelevance of national territories and boundaries, how could one make of culture and religion, which are not necessarily bounded in time and space, and let alone national politics? The transnational nature of religion and its global appeal are surely a challenge for all nations of Southeast Asia. And thus, what is the future of citizenship when a good number of humans are interconnected beyond national territories in more ways than just a membership in a modern nation-state? The dynamic political spectrum in the region—with a mixture of democratic, semi-democratic, authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes—also poses a problem in how one defines and characterizes Southeast Asia as an integrated region.
This second edition features nine articles, each having its own unique perspective on religious and cultural pluralism in Southeast Asia and beyond. Joshi, Rajagopala and Kalpana’s article critically assesses the Balatchturbhadara Churna, an Ayurvedic formulation, for pediatric treatment. Butler examines the praxis of interreligious dialogue through dance performances. Harnish looks at the Lingsar Festival in Lombok from the view of music, identity and interreligious relations.
Meanwhile Wibawa, Gelgel, and Sarjana focused their research on Pada Gelahang marriage from the legal pluralism perspective. Kunphoommari examines Thailand’s unique experience in religious pluralism. Gottowick’s article writes about the visualization of the other in Hindu-Balinese religion. Manuaba, Triguna and Wirawan’s piece studies the “cultural poverty” in the life of Hindus in Karangasem, Bali. In the last article, Sarr examines neo-Sufism and the ritual of Slawatan in promoting religious tolerance.
Finally, I would like to personally thank I Ketut Ardhana, I Made Damriyasa, Yekti Maunati, Erni Budiwanti and Dundin Zaenuddin from LIPI for their support and marvelous teamwork. I would also like to thank Made Adi Widyatmika and Stephanie Theng for managing the contributions, superbly editing the articles and laying them out nicely. Last but not least, I am thankful to all the authors for their confidence in IJIIS. I sincerely hope and pray that your contributions will pave for a greater interreligious and intercultural understanding.
Interreligious and Intercultural StudiesVol 1 No 1 (2018)
It gives me great pleasure to say a few words about this inaugural edition of the International Journal on Interreligious and Intercultural Studies (IJIIS). This journal came about after intense discussion between myself and colleagues at the Bali-based Universitas Hindu Indonesia (UNHI) as well as longtime associates in the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) in Jakarta. It was agreed among us that Indonesia urgently needs an international journal that would highlight serious reflections and academic research work on interreligious and intercultural studies.
In this inaugural edition, nine rich and fascinating articles are published. They include authors from the United States of America, India, and Indonesia. Following the parameters of IJIIS, topics in this edition range broadly from issues such as human dignity, rituals, religious freedom, traditional games and Sufi Darghas in India.
Sofjan’s article highlights the foundational understanding of Pancasila as Indonesia’s state ideology, which turns to human dignity as the source of all good in society. Renowned Anthropologist and a longtime observer of Indonesian society Woodward of Arizona State University writes a stimulating piece on the apotheosis of Siti Khotijah in Balinese galactic polity. Risalaturrohmah’s piece looks at zikr, Islamic ritual of commemoration, in the Balinese context in its modified form. Yadnyawati’s article highlights the dying Balinese game of megala-galaan as a way to build character among children.
Meanwhile, Suastika and Puspawati analyzed the dialog between Pandawa and Wirata contained in the famous Balinese Kicaka Geguritan text. Joseph from India makes an overview of the comparison of the Constitutional design on religious freedom between Indonesia and India. Ardhana scrutinizes the feminine deities in Balinese society. Here, he specifically emphasizes the local genius, Indian influences and how they are worshipped. Santiago superbly sets out to study the religio-cultural identity assertions and what she called “spaces of generosity” in Sufi Darghas in Bangalore. Lastly, I Gusti Ayu Suasthi et. al. delves into the religious behavior of Balinese in Sukawati village based on the Tri Hata Karana.
In publishing IJIIS, I would like to personally thank to all contributors for their trust and confidence in the development of IJIIS. I sincerely hope that we could all gather in Bali someday for an international conference or workshop of some sort to layout the bright and wonderful prospect for this journal.