This is the seventh edition of the International Journal on Interreligious and Intercultural Studies (IJIIS). This means that IJIIS will enter its fourth year of publication in 2022. While the Covid-19 pandemic rages on with the emergence of new variants such as the Omicron, academic journals should continue to flourish, despite the obvious challenges faced by scholars,professors and researchers, given the social and travel restrictions worldwide.

The problem is that curiosity remains to linger. And academic and scholars alike tend to find it difficult to stop thinking, writing, producing and co-producing knowledge. For exactly this reason, IJIIS will remain to publish as per normal, although, as editor, I have discovered that some methods of research and ‘fieldwork’ have somewhat transformed to adjust to the restrictive circumstances and the rampant use of digital humanities.

On 11 February 2021, UNHI and its partners such as ICRS and LIPI/BRIN held the 7th International Conference of Interreligious and Intercultural Studies (ICIIS), where the theme was appropriately dubbed “Living the New Normal: Achieving Resilience and Ensuring Sustainable Future”. The Conference brought together scholars from many different nationalities and fields of studies. It invited scholars from Algeria, Turkey, Australia, the United Kingdom and others. One of the bones of contention in the February conference was the usage of the term “normal”, which has indeed been raised by many who are convinced that the Covid-19 pandemic would not become a teachable moment for humanity in regard to confronting the prevailing problems of social injustice, racism, discrimination, intolerance, persecution and a range of other social quandaries. The vaccine distribution and how they are marginalizing and disenfranchising some segments of society are just part of the manifestation of these social problems occurring throughout almost two years of the pandemic.

This has been one of the reasons why the IJIIS team is relentless in publishing the journal and insists that it continues its good work, despite the inherent challenges that we all face amid this Covid-19 pandemic. In this edition, IJIIS presents to you eight superb articles that really take readers on exciting journeys across different fields of research. The first article is from Mark Woodward of Arizona State University, who examined the Capitalism and the ideology of greed, and how Muslim ethics perceives them. The second is by Md. Thowhidul Islam, who looked at the religious thoughts of Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Habashy al-Harari, and how it had influenced the politics of Al-Ahbash (The Ethiopians) in Lebanon.

The third article is on religion, culture and the process of marginalization within the context of India. The article was written by Preeti Oza, who is based in University of Mumbai, India. The subsequent article is an exploration on the little known field of Indonesian Christian comics by Leonard Chrysostomos Epafras and Hendrikus Paulus Kaunang, who focused their research on “manga Bible” and other forms of comics.

Meanwhile, Dina S. Zaman from Kuala Lumpur-based IMAN Research writes about the “roots of 21st century Malay anger” and how that has contributed to the extremism and radicalism among the young Malaysians. Jekonia Tarigan et al. looks into the interesting facets of religious health services in Yogyakarta, and examines the dynamic interreligious relations that result from these services. I Gusti Putu Anindya Putra et al. researched on the efforts to revitalize the cultural identity of Bali through spatial planning in the capital city of Denpasar. The last article from Maksimilianus Jemali et al. takes us on a journey to East Nusa Tenggara and examines “Hambor” as a cultural mechanism for conflict resolution and peace in Manggarai.

Finally, I would like to thank the editorial team members for their commitment and hard work. I would like to especially welcome on board Ms. Adityarini Abiyoga, who has begun to reinforce the editorial team of IJIIS. I sincerely hope that IJIIS will continue to further service its readers and contributors alike, and provide inspiration and expansion in the field of interreligious and intercultural studies, both in Indonesia and worldwide.[]

Dicky Sofjan

Editor in Chief

Published: 2021-10-28