The boundaries of what has constituted “Eastern Indonesia” have shifted depending on the historical, cultural, political, or economic context. We review various ways that Eastern Indonesia has been understood, to overview the different ways of delineating and approaching this fascinating part of Indonesia in order to introduce this special issue. The intention of this special issue, however, is not to attempt to clearly define Eastern Indonesia once and for all, but to open up via these various historical and contemporary concerns with Eastern Indonesia, new ways of grappling with this region in the present Post-Suharto era. The current social and political transformations offer a great deal of opportunity to reflect on the way global and national flows of people, money, notions of governance and religious ideas, are so crucial to understanding and making sense of the current dynamics in the region. By focusing our attention on how these global and national influences intersect with the local, we want to bring out how they are appropriated and manipulated by local communities; at the same time they may undermine and transform what is taking place at the local level.