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Being Theological in a Comparative Manner in Today’s Indonesia

In: International Journal of Asian Christianity
Author:
Albertus Bagus Laksana Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia bagus.laksana@usd.ac.id

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Abstract

In today’s Indonesia, public theological discourse is messy, sectarian, superficial, and highly apologetic. While the state philosophy of Pancasila offers an inclusive theological vision of citizenship and nationhood, its inclusiveness and dialogical character suffer from the exclusive use of the combination of the modern world-religion paradigm, European Christian theology, and Islamic parameters. This essay argues that the new comparative theology can serve as a dialogical theological reasoning that is particularly helpful to foster theologically constructive encounters among different religions, and thus able to address public concern, especially identity politics. This essay presents some concrete examples of comparative theological works in the Indonesian context, drawn from the author’s experiments. These highlight the dialogical, confessional, spiritual, and constructive characters of this theological reasoning, and pay attention to the hybrid identity and local cultures that form the richness of the Indonesian reality.

Abstract

In today’s Indonesia, public theological discourse is messy, sectarian, superficial, and highly apologetic. While the state philosophy of Pancasila offers an inclusive theological vision of citizenship and nationhood, its inclusiveness and dialogical character suffer from the exclusive use of the combination of the modern world-religion paradigm, European Christian theology, and Islamic parameters. This essay argues that the new comparative theology can serve as a dialogical theological reasoning that is particularly helpful to foster theologically constructive encounters among different religions, and thus able to address public concern, especially identity politics. This essay presents some concrete examples of comparative theological works in the Indonesian context, drawn from the author’s experiments. These highlight the dialogical, confessional, spiritual, and constructive characters of this theological reasoning, and pay attention to the hybrid identity and local cultures that form the richness of the Indonesian reality.

1 Religion and Contemporary Search for Identity

Our time is a season of identity searching, and identity politics is the game of the day. And religious identity has also become a problem. Admittedly, this search for identity is not necessarily a bad thing; rather it is even demanded by the common good, provided identity is understood as multilayered and complex, and not monolithic, pure, primordialistic, and atavistic. But, for the most part, much of the collective search for identity in our time seems to stem from a combination of fear of the other and a deep insecurity regarding the self, which is more existential. Democratic institutions and mechanisms have been hijacked by populist and nationalist sentiments around the world. In many places, religion has become part of this muddy identity politics. And in fact, the public face of religion is often connected to this identity politics, which is the case in some parts of Asia. India has seen the rise of Hindu nationalist politics with its anti-Muslim agenda. Myanmar has also been witnessing the surge of Buddhist identity politics that is largely set against the Muslim Rohingyas. Despite its traditional image of the bastion of moderate Islam in the world, Indonesia has seen the rise of radical Islam and the politicization of religion and religious identity in the last two decades or so. A significant segment of Indonesian Muslim society has clearly been undergoing a “conservative turn”, and becoming more exclusionary. 1 Theological reasoning, or rather the pretence of it, has also been playing an important role in this identity politics. As part of the strategy of “othering”, theological orthodoxy is often turned into a parameter to judge other groups. In Indonesia, the Ahmadiyyah and the Shi’ite communities have often borne the brunt of this theological othering. Fierce theological contentions also occur among different Muslim groups in Indonesia, such as the traditionalists, the modernists, the Salafists, the Tarbiyyah movement, and the Hizbut Tahrir. Christian and Hindu theologies are harassed from time to time. 2

In this context, theological orthodoxy can be highly political. However, the problem runs deeper. Much more alarming is the growth of religious conservatism and radicalism among regular citizens, as well as among school-students, university-students, teachers and lecturers. 3 This spread of religious radicalism in the educational sector is particularly disturbing because it goes deeper into the moral and religious worldview of ordinary and educated citizens, and in the long run threatens to tear apart the fabric of common life and social cohesion.

2 Religion, Nationhood, and Citizenship

2.1 Pancasila and the Ambiguity of World Religion Paradigm

Fortunately, identity politics and the conservative turn described above do not constitute the whole story in today’s Indonesia. As a matter of fact, Indonesia has also witnessed a renewed awareness on the importance of its unity, and the need to revitalize the inclusive Pancasila (literally “Five Principles”) state ideology as the most viable framework to deal with the problem of identity politics and come to terms with the delicate yet crucial role of religions in this deeply pluralistic society. It may be noted that the Pancasila puts Indonesia in a unique situation concerning the role of religion in terms of citizenship. Among modern states, Indonesia is a rare case where citizenship requires religious affinity, if not “faith” itself, and where the state rather closely manages religious affairs. This is so on the basis of the first principle of “Belief in the One Supreme God.” In the history of the formulation of Pancasila in 1945, this first principle came to be prioritized in relation to the other principles, namely humanity, national unity, democracy, and social justice. This pre-eminence was in fact a compromise deal between the nationalist camp who wanted to forge a benign and respectful relationship of neutrality (as opposed to aggressive secularism) vis-à-vis the religions (including Islam), and the Islamic camp who wanted the implementation of Islamic law (sharia) for the Muslim citizens. As a compromise, the initial expression of “Belief in God” (Ind. Ketuhanan), which was more generic theologically, was changed into “Belief in the One and Only God” (Ind. Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa) which is overtly monotheistic. 4

At this earliest phase, what was left undefined was the exact relationship between the state and religion, and the question of what was to count as religion within that “monotheistic” framework. What ensued was precisely an ambiguous process of constructing and formalizing “religion”, and defining what passes for religion within the system of governance. In this process of “religionization,” religion has come to be constructed as “agama” (Sanskrit) through the application of a Eurocentric (and Christian) paradigm of “world religion”, and adoption of Islamic parameters (that a religion should have a prophet, a holy book, and a belief in the One and Only God). Thus, complex religious phenomena were “disciplined” according to certain standards that are not neutral. 5 In the legal system of the state, true religion must be exclusivist, monotheistic, congregational, scripturalist, international, and universalist. 6

Due to these criteria, local religious traditions did not qualify, since these were considered to be merely “ethnic religions.” In 1973, the House of Representatives recognized these local religious traditions as a legitimate expression of the first principle, but it stopped short of recognizing them as proper religion. 7 What we see at work here is a sensitive tension in the interpretation of the inclusive scope of the first principle. Having said that, however, the world religion paradigm actually enables the state to recognize a certain variety of theological understandings of God and the Divine. Six religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism) are thus far recognized by the state. For a host of reasons, it is certainly not easy to say that Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism pass the strict monotheistic criterion. These religions obtained legal recognition mainly due to their status as world religions in combination with the application of a monotheistic reconstruction of their doctrines. 8

Thus, one sees how in its complexity a certain theology, enacted by the state apparatus, is deeply involved in the ordering of public life with regard to the existence and role of religions. However, this theological reasoning has proved to be ambiguous and political, going beyond the strictly religious and theological spheres. In this regard, the case of the Hindu religion in Indonesia is insightful and instructive. 9 To pass for a monotheistic world religion, the local religious tradition of the Balinese had to undergo a theological systematization or reconstruction that resulted in the formation of a Hindu religion (agama Hindu). But ambiguity remained. On the one hand, this theological reconstruction, done by a number of Balinese intellectuals and leaders from the diverse spectrum, was empowering the Balinese in their struggle for recognition. After reconstructing their hitherto orthopraxic and locally-based tradition by securing its textual base, developing monotheistic theology, acquiring internationality, and by identifying its founder or prophet (Rsi Vyasa), the Hindu Balinese were held to be on par with other major world religious communities. They could not be labelled anymore as “polytheistic pagans”. They could claim governmental support and protection, and keep at bay the missionary outreach from other religious communities as well. In this process, the marginalized caste of the Balinese community was able to use the occasion to reform the tradition, and thus assert its role and rightful place in the new religious system. This community was becoming increasingly egalitarian due to its universal anchoring and its severance from local customary practices dominated by the religious elites and the upper castes. But, again, this historical process turns out to be ambiguous now with the realization that local traditions and identity are crucial collective markers, especially in the context of identity politics against Muslim immigrants into Bali. In the aftermath of the Bali Bombing in 2000, there was an urge among certain segments in the Balinese community for a return to the local and customary basis of their religion. 10

2.2 Theological Ignorance and Violence

Despite this ambiguity, the Balinese communities did actually have a rather good fortune in their theological reconstruction. Various groups, from intellectuals to ordinary believers, have exercised their agency in negotiating the actual meaning of their local Balinese identity as well as their Hindu universality. 11

While what the monotheistic requirement entails theologically needs an ongoing reinterpretation, the original meaning and scope of the first principle is definitely more inclusive and always related to humanism, at least in the minds of the nationalist founding fathers of the Republic. 12 The problem is with the subsequent application of the European modern world religion paradigm with biases from Christian theology and Islamic definition of religion. Islamic criteria could indeed complicate matters, since Islam is the majority religion, and due to the historical vicissitudes of the nation.

This complication is well illustrated by a controversy in 2017 involving Mr Eggi Sudjana, a Muslim activist, who stated that all non-Islamic religions do not pass the monotheistic requirement of the first principle of Pancasila; only Islam qualifies. This preacher was quoted as saying: “This is so because of Christianity’s Trinity, Hinduism’s Trimurti, and the lack of the conception of God in Buddhism.” 13 Franz Magnis-Suseno, a Jesuit priest and prominent public intellectual, responded to Mr Sudjana by calling this statement on the Trinity plainly wrong and ignorant. The case went viral for a time with the preacher making a case against the priest with the police, but this case never made its way to the court.

Obviously, Mr Sudjana did not have the slightest idea of the original and inclusive intention of the founding fathers with regard to the first principle; nor did he really have a grasp of other theologies of God for that matter, as he portrayed the meaning of the Trinity with a typical Muslim (mis-) understanding of this doctrine. If Christian theology of the Trinity should fail the test, what would happen to local religious traditions? Indeed, the predominance of the modern Euro-Christian world-religion paradigm and Islamic theology has resulted in the marginalization of local religions or spiritualities, which tend to be relegated to the realm of culture. The 2017 Constitutional Court’s decision recognizing local religions as a legal religious identity is a welcome sign, but has not really begun to change the overall situation in any significant way. Furthermore, the dialogical character of theological discourse in Indonesia has, for a long time, been stagnant. There have been interreligious dialogues, but for the most part, theologies have been done separately in each religious community’s confessional bubble. This has resulted in blatant mutual ignorance, and rivalry too, as the case of Mr Sudjana shows. Theological ignorance often begets various forms of violence. The misunderstanding in the case of Sudjana was not followed up by more dialogical and theological discourse. Indonesian society, including its most educated stratum, is apparently still ill-prepared to take up this challenge of developing a more creative, public, and interreligious theology, something that is actually required by the nature of Indonesia’s nationhood and citizenship.

3 The Promise of Comparative Theology in the Indonesian Context

The Indonesian context described above shows that theological reasoning has been at stake, since it is connected to the idea of Indonesian nationhood, particularly in the definition of religion and its relation to citizenship. Here, theological reasoning has a political and public character, as I have shown. This reasoning also proves to be ill-equipped to deal creatively with complicated theological questions and controversies. The biases arising from the world religion paradigm, and from Islamic as well as Christian religious paradigms should be dealt with more creatively. Drawing from the past, Indonesian society needs to do today new theological reasoning that is interreligious and publicly responsible. In this way, it could provide a foundation to its particular idea of citizenship and nationhood, and facilitate constructive encounters among different religions and their adherents, recognizing all the while, diversity as a source of mutual learning. In a nutshell, it is the theology that can prompt more imaginative work, reinvigorating what we mean by unity and diversity of religions and theologies.

This brings us to the discipline of the new comparative theology, which presents itself as a truly theological discipline, born out of the concern to make sense of the overwhelming reality of religious diversity. It is geared toward a refreshing self-understanding of one’s own religious tradition, a deeper appreciation of other religious traditions, and openness to the often unexpected and insightful convergences among different religious traditions. This discipline is marked by the dynamics of encounter, reconstruction, and transformation, both theological and spiritual. This dynamic encounter in comparative theology requires a “back-and-forth visiting” where the comparativist spends time in the world of other religious tradition, imbibing the richness of this tradition personally; then comes back home to make sense of the encounter with this religious other on a deeper level, taking into account both differences but especially similarities. Comparative theology is open to the real possibility of knowing more deeply the hitherto hidden aspects of one’s tradition in light of the encounter with the other. As a result, one comes home with fresh insights and new affectivity toward one’s own religious tradition as well as toward other traditions. This dynamic is repeated over and over again, ideally involving other theologians, to facilitate deeper mutual fecundation among religious traditions. 14

Space prevents me from going into the methodological details of this discipline. 15 However, I can say that the “constructive” nature of the new comparative theology is particularly crucial and appealing, given the stagnation and messiness of the theological discourses in Indonesia thus far. This would mean that, with the help of comparative theology, we could say something “new” and fresh about theological matters. At the hand of skillful comparativists, this constructive character, though need not result in entirely new insights, could, however, lead to an organic development of doctrine, where the home tradition is enriched theologically due to the encounter, and the new development is recognized as legitimate and, indeed, as an enrichment by the larger religious community. Thus, the constructive character goes hand in hand with the “confessional”, the personal and spiritual characters of comparative theology. I will come back to this point later with more concrete examples from my own work.

As I have argued, the Indonesian context is clearly in need of a theology which, while retaining its confessional or tradition-specific character, should also be more public by addressing common concerns, especially identity politics. In this regard, this contextual comparative theological enterprise should take into account the cultural sensibility and value of unity and pluralism (Ind. kebhinekaan) with an awareness that these belong to the core traditional values of the country. 16 Along this line, comparative theology in the Indonesian context will pay attention to the hybridity of culture and identity that has been a distinctive dimension of the legacy of the country. This move can even be seen as a long-overdue corrective to the ways in which local cultures and customary laws (Ind. adat) have been marginalized by the application of the world religion paradigm, colonialism, and the activities of Christian missionaries, and certain Muslim groups. 17

3.1 My Experiments of Comparative Theology in the Indonesian Context

Hybridity is very much related to religions. Every religious tradition in Indonesia has been contextualized and transformed by local cultures in many ways. This dynamic of religio-cultural hybridity in fact formed the background of my study on pilgrimage traditions among Muslims and Catholics in Java. 18 During my fieldwork, visiting Javanese Muslim and Catholic shrines, I was made aware that my rootedness in the Javanese culture had a crucial role in facilitating more profound encounters between my Catholic identity and the Muslim tradition in which I was immersing myself. This common culture has helped me undergo a deeper spiritual transformation. I could enter more deeply into the spiritual world of the Muslim pilgrims through the particularities of Javanese religio-cultural categories that have become features of Muslim and Catholic pilgrimage traditions in Java. Among such religio-cultural categories are the inclusive and cosmic notion of God’s blessing (baraka), the emphasis on inner tranquillity and peace through ascetic practices, cultivation of the heart, and the role of ancestors of the local community in the chain of God’s blessing. In a nutshell, what I see as pivotal in this common culture is communion with self, other, the cosmos, history, and God.

This energy of communion that I draw from my religio-cultural sensibility as a Javanese enables me to carve out a space for the Muslim holy figures, such as Sunan Kalijaga who have actually helped shape the Javanese hybrid culture and spirituality. Sunan Kalijag has been considered a paradigmatic figure for all the Javanese, and not only for the Muslims. I feel all this corresponds to the openness and vastness of my Catholic theological sensibility, particularly to the underlying dynamism of communion (sacramentality) in the renewed doctrine and practice of communion of saints (sanctorum communio) in which the category of “saint” includes all those “clouds of witnesses”, all persons touched and led by the Spirit of God and became her instrument of sanctity. Here, sainthood is related not exclusively to “holy” persons, but rather to everything, such as the natural world, community, and history, that is sanctified by the presence of the same Spirit. 19

In my comparative theological endeavour here, I treat Javanese culture as a hybrid medium serving as a comparative field, a fecund meeting-ground between my Catholic sensibility and the Islamic tradition. What I mean by culture here includes integral cosmology, ethics, mysticism, and spirituality. I consider the recognition of the local culture extremely crucial for comparative theology in the Indonesian context. This move seems to be strategic especially in terms of helping us re-appropriate more fully the meaning of religion as “traditions that are passed down” (agama, the Sanskrit concept of religious traditions), and thus rendering the modern category of “world religion” less problematic.

3.2 Constructive Character and Hybrid Identity

As for the constructive dimension of comparative theology, its theological method has helped me understand the Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints anew. This doctrine becomes more inclusive yet more rooted in the local reality at the same time. Its principal structure of sacramentality is strengthened. Before my comparative theological endeavour, Catholic communion of saints appeared to me like a beautiful prefabricated edifice. But, after my comparative journey, it is enriched in many ways by the Muslim doctrine and practice of sainthood (Ar. walaya), which offers a distinctive understanding of sainthood based on spiritual proximity to God (rather than moral feats) which confers authority to the saints as the friends of God (wali, awliya). In general, the Muslim understanding offers a more fluid and less institutional sainthood model that reminds the Catholic doctrine of its similar yet neglected dimensions. Yet the Muslim walaya system is also more involved in some ways, with a detailed hierarchy of saints, wherein each category of saint is assigned a distinctive role in the running and preservation of the cosmos. 20 Though, in general, Islam emphasizes the transcendence of God more than God’s immanence, the sacredness of the cosmos and of the human person nevertheless forms a crucial dimension of Islamic tradition, more particularly in its doctrine and practice of sainthood (walaya). In it I find a deeper resonance of the Catholic principle of communion, shared by the Javanese culture. 21 With this enrichment, the edifice of the Catholic communion of saints is transformed into a larger building with new features and reinforced structures.

After such a comparative engagement, my identity as a Catholic theologian has also been changed in deeper ways, for I have included particular aspects of the Muslim others, close to their own practice and understanding. In many different and concrete ways, I was enamoured by the enchanting dimensions of the Muslim tradition, especially by the figures of Muslim saints. To a certain degree, Muslim saints have become part of my Catholic communion of saints as well. 22 I have been made aware that as a Javanese, my religious and cultural sensibility has been shaped by their religio-cultural legacy, for example, that of Sunan Kalijaga in Java. The Spirit has been at work in the formation of my culture. In my comparative work, this legacy is expanded and transfigured.

All this is connected to another crucial question faced by the global and Indonesian context, namely the tricky question of identity-formation. Elsewhere I have written on the discourse of Indonesian Catholic writers on their hybrid identity, the interplay between the commitment to Catholic universality and rootedness in the Indonesian particularity. This case of a Catholic hybrid identity formation in Indonesia is insightful, for it actually clears a fertile ground for a comparative theological undertaking. A religious community that understands itself as hybrid would certainly be open to creative engagements with different religious traditions, even though engagement with political Islam could still be a great challenge. 23 In this regard, this hybrid identity is clearly in search of a method to translate that spirit into a larger inclusive movement.

3.3 Naming God Together as the Merciful

I explore this inclusivity further in the area of systematic theology, particularly how Christians and Muslims can “name” God together. 24 Here, the fulcrum is not so much hybridity of common culture, but rather enrichment and convergences between Islamic and Christian theologies, geared toward a responsible naming of God for the common good, which is done together, while respecting the dynamics of each particular religious tradition. In my study and research in this area, I was captivated by the striking parallelism of theological reasoning among Muslim and Catholic theologians wherein they name God through the foundational category of mercy. As an Indonesian comparativist, I find this reasoning to be theologically attractive, spiritually beautiful, and contextually urgent. The resulting comparative theological exercise might just be the sort of theological reasoning that Pancasila’s first principle actually requires. In my view, this theology is an example of interreligious mutual learning where we come to understand more closely and together with one of the most fundamental aspects of our understanding of God. A Muslim-Christian comparative theological agreement and discourse that emphasizes mercy as the most defining aspect of God would be a way to respond to sectarianism and exclusivism described above. A theology of mercy is already a theology of inclusivity in itself, but when it is done together through comparative theology, its inclusivity would be enhanced, and its public responsibility acquires greater visibility. In my view, this is the publicly responsible theology urgently needed in a pluralistic yet agonistic society like today’s Indonesia. For example, a divine ontology of mercy would undoubtedly enable us to speak of God’s self not in terms of substance but relation. 25 In turn, the ontology of relation, done comparatively, might help the Muslims understand better the theology of the Christian monotheism of the Trinity. This would serve as a firmer foundation of unity and pluralism.

4 Moving Forward

In this essay, I have shown that theological reasoning has been quite instrumental in the construction of religion and citizenship in Indonesia. Yet this reasoning needs to be done in a more creative, inclusive, and publicly responsible manner. And comparative theology has the potential to be the kind of theological reasoning that today’s Indonesia needs. Doing this kind of theology is quite challenging, and we would do better to start with small and doable topics. In the long term, more engagement between Christian and Muslim theologies needs to take place; it has to involve also other traditions, so that it becomes less of an inter-Abrahamic religious discourse, instead reflects the larger reality of Indonesian pluralism increasingly. Engagement with local religions is also urgent and promising, something that might call for different and unfamiliar theological categories. On that basis, we might be able to do more creative theologies of nationalism, homeland, hybrid identity, and other pertinent topics of common concerns.

Bibliography

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1

Cf. Martin van Bruinessen, ed, Contemporary Developments in Indonesian Islam: Explaining the ‘Conservative Turn,’ (Singapore: iseas Publishing, 2013); also, my essay, ‘The Pain of Being Hybrid: Catholic Writers and Political Islam in Postcolonial Indonesia’, International Journal of Asian Christianity, 1: 2 (2018): 225–249. DOI : https://doi.org/10.1163/25424246-00102001.

2

In the most recent controversy (2019), a celebrity preacher, Abdul Somad, stated that the crucifix is inhabited by infidel genie and denounced Christian religious symbolism, especially the statues and the cross. https://fin.co.id/2019/08/17/video-ustad-abdul-somad-sebut-ada-jin-kafir-di-patung-salib/> [accessed March 25, 2020].

3

Cf. Sebastian, Leonard C. and Andar Nubowo, ‘The “Conservative Turn” in Indonesian Islam: Implications for the 2019 Presidential Elections’, Asie. Visions, No. 106, March 2019; https://www.ifri.org/en/publications/notes-de-lifri/asie-visions/conservative-turn-indonesian-­islam-implications-2019> [accessed March 25, 2020].

4

Michel Picard, ‘Introduction: “agama”, “adat”, and Pancasila’, in Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier, eds, The Politics of Religion in Indonesia (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 1–20 at p. 12; also Yudi Latif, Negara Paripurna: Historisitas, Rasionalitas, dan Aktualitas Pancasila (Jakarta: Gramedia, 2011), p. 9ff.

5

Cf. Tomoko Mazusawa, The Invention of World Religions: Or, How European Universalism Was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism (Chicago: University Chicago Press, 2005); Richard King, Orientalism and Religion: Postcolonial Theory, India and ‘the Mystic East,’ (London and New York: Routledge, 1999).

6

Michel Picard, ‘From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu and back: Toward a relocalization of the Balinese Religion?’ in Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier, eds, The Politics of Religion in Indonesia (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 117–141 at p. 124.

7

Picard, ‘Introduction’, in Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier, eds, The Politics of Religion in ­Indonesia (New York: Routledge, 2011), p. 14.

8

In the construction of Confucian monotheistic theology, Tian (the Chinese term for heaven) came to be understood as the Confucian equivalent of “the One and the Only God”. However, Tian is not a personal God with attributes familiar to monotheism.

9

Michel Picard, ‘From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu and back’, in Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier, eds, The Politics of Religion in Indonesia (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 117–141.

10

Cf. Jeff Lewis and Belinda Lewis, Bali’s Silent Crisis: Desire, Tragedy, and Transition ­(Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009), p. 151ff.

11

For example, the agency played by the Balinese pilgrims to India where they extended their typical Balinese immanent and animist ontology to the Indian soil, making it local and universal at the same time. See Annette Hornbacher, ‘Return to the Source: A Balinese Pilgrimage to India and the Re-Enchantment of Agama Hindu in Global Modernity’, in Michel Picard, ed, The Appropriation of Religion in Southeast Asia and Beyond (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 153–183.

12

Latif, Negara Paripurna, p. 124.

14

See my essay, ‘Comparative Theology: Between Identity and Alterity’, in Francis X. Clooney, ed, New Comparative Theology: Interreligious Insights from the Next Generation (New York: T & T Clark, 2010), pp. 1–20; also, ‘Back-and-Forth Riting: The Dynamics of Christian-Muslim Encounters in Shrine Rituals’, in Marianne Moyaert and Joris Geldhof, ed, Ritual Participation and Interreligious Dialogue: Boundaries, Transgressions and Innovations (London, New York: Bloomsbury, 2015), pp. 109–121.

15

For a concise introduction to the new comparative theology, see Francis X. Clooney, Comparative Theology: Deep Learning Across Religious Borders (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010); also, Paul Hedges, Comparative Theology: A Critical and Methodological Perspective (Leiden: Brill, 2017).

16

See my piece, ‘The Names of God: Pluralism’s Civic and Theological Frameworks’; https://contendingmodernities.nd.edu/field-notes/names-god/> [accessed March 25, 2020].

17

Picard, ‘Balinese Religion in the Making’, in Michel Picard, ed, The Appropriation of Religion in Southeast Asia and Beyond (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 128–129.

18

See my work, Muslim and Catholic Pilgrimage Practices: Explorations Through Java (Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2014).

19

Cf. Elizabeth Johnson, Friends of God and Prophets: A Feminist Theological Reading of the Communion of Saints (New York, London: Continuum, 2005).

20

See Michel Chodkiewicz, The Seal of the Saints: Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn ‘Arabi (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1993).

21

Laksana, Muslim and Catholic Pilgrimage Practices, p. 196.

22

See my chapter, ‘Back-and-Forth Riting’, in Moyaert and Geldhof, eds, Ritual Participation and Interreligious Dialogue: Boundaries Transgressions and Innovations (Bloomsbury 2015), p. 111.

23

See my essay, ‘The Pain of Being Hybrid: Catholic Writers and Political Islam in Postcolonial Indonesia’, International Journal of Asian Christianity, 1: 2 (2018), 225–249.

24

See my article, ‘Naming God Together: Muslim-Christian Theology of Mercy in the Indonesian Context’, Journal of Asian Orientation in Theology, 1: 1 (2019), 1–30.

25

Cf. Catherine LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1993).

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