As demonstrated by Benedict Anderson, media are powerful means in creating imagined community, and accordingly, mighty poles of both nationalism and cosmopolitanism. While the former gains much popularity in scholarly analysis, the latter needs to be considered as well, in understanding religious expression in present-day Indonesia, and both in particular with regard to the tensions of “nationalism” (often appeared in term of neo-tribalism and political populism) and religious transnationalism.
The present article takes Anderson’s insight and through it explores the rhetoric represented in the series of historical comic entitled Baladeva, published by Tantraz Comics Bali, Denpasar. The analysis sought inspiration from the notions of micro-cosmopolitanism and cosmopatriotism. A micro-cosmopolitanism is a cosmopolitanism from below that is concerned with freedom, openness, tolerance, and respect for difference, while cosmopatriotism is a double articulation of patriotism and cosmopolitanism that grapples with the condition of territorialism and de-territorialism in the context of postmodern society. Through those conditions and framing, the analysis might reveal the complicated meaning of cosmopolitanism, beyond the popular understanding of the celebration of being the global citizen and the transcendence of traditional and national boundaries.
Taking the last period of the Medang Kingdom (Hindu-Buddhist Mataram) as the historical context of the comic’s plot, the author consciously portrayed the glory and power of the pre-Islam, pre-colonial ‘Indonesian’ past. This narrative directly and indirectly became a critical position against the present condition of Indonesia, which is presumably Westernized, modernized, and implicitly Islamicized. Balinese socio-political and religious dynamic as the immediate context for the author is also part of the equation. Hence, the analysis might touch upon where the pressing questions of nationalism and cosmopolitanism, counter-transnational religious discourse, and religious minority are played out.
Spiritual experiences are related to a plethora of personal and relational outcomes. In this study, we examined if daily spiritual experiences buffer the impact of stressors on compassionate love, which is a salient aspect of personal and professional relationships. We used a smartphone-based, experience sampling method (S-ESM) to test the moderating effect of daily spiritual experiences on stressors and love in 1,691 participants, using mixed-effects multilevel regression models. Our analyses indicated that increased stressors predicted reduced attitudes of love for others while increased daily spiritual experiences were associated with greater attitudes of love. We also found that increased daily spiritual experiences over time moderated the negative effect of stressors on love. Specifically, we found that daily spiritual experiences that were higher than the individual’s average, rather than merely a higher average spiritual experience, were key to this moderating effect. Implications are discussed.