The First ICIR 2019 Proceeding

There are 35 papers from 12 panels in this proceeding with various topics and issues under the theme “The State, Indigenous Religions, and Inclusive Citizenship”. The preface is a text taken from opening remarks in the conference delivered by Robert W. Hefner with the title “Indigenous Religions and The Great Progress of Indonesian Democracy”.

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The 3rd ICIR Conference Papers


Published: 2022-04-09

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The Hare Krishnas in Bali: Localized Religion and New Religious Movement

Ravinjay Kuckreja(1),
(1) Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar, Indonesia

As the Balinese sought official religious acceptance in Indonesia, they formalized their ethnic customs and transformed them into a universal religion with an Abrahamic model called “Agama Hindu Dharma”. In aligning itself with Hinduism, the Balinese had to restructure their internalized indigenous faith and share it with Hindus beyond the island, including with others in the archipelago and the religious hearth of India. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as The Hare Krishna Movement, is a Hindu-based New Religious Movement. With their active presence in Bali, they provided an informative and devotional perspective for inquisitive Hindus. Preferring their local expression of Hinduism instead, ISKCON books and teachings were banned in 1984 for disrupting public order during the repressive era of President Suharto. The political reformation of 1998 allowed for the recognition of ISKCON, but the exclusivism of Hare Krishna members threatened many orthodox Balinese Hindus. This opposition culminated in 2020, resulting in a decree restricting all non-Balinese Hindu sects from practicing in the Hindu-majority province. This paper documents the formalization of the indigenous Balinese theology and its recent interaction with a multinational New Religious Movement.

From Sraddha to Nyekar: Continuity and Change in the Practice and Meaning of Sraddha in Contemporary Society

Nareswati Kintoko Budiningsih(1)Febrian Indar Surya Kusuma(2)Satria Indar Dwi Kusuma(3),
(1) Department of Education and Training Puanhayati, Central Java, Indonesia
(2) Legal and Social Department DMD MLKI Surakarta, Indonesia
(3) Department of Research and Development DMD MLKI Surakarta, Indonesia


Borrowing the concept of the Sraddha ritual, grave pilgrimage, nyekar or similar terms that carry important values about our attachment to our ancestors as a form of respect, many negative stereotypes are pinned on those who still perform rituals which are then only seen as a mystical, futile and ancient act without knowing the true meaning of the ritual in the concept of constructive interpretation. Dworkin emphasizes that a difference of opinion usually arises because of the different interpretation bases. This study will be carried out using the interpretation theory proposed by Ronald Dworkin as an analytical tool for the grave pilgrimage ritual or Sraddha. Based on the explanation of the Sraddha concept, it will be seen the philosophical aspects underlying the existence of similar rituals that are still carried out by some people in the eyes of the Mysticism and Logic concept proposed by Bertrand Russell. The four aspects that are understood as the characteristics of a society that adheres to mysticism can be a logical explanation for the combination of traditional values and culture of Sraddha which is not only still practiced by believers but also society in general. Through the presentation of the concepts in this study, it is hoped that this can be a way to straighten out negative misconceptions or stereotypes about spiritual practitioners that have been developing a lot in society.

Redefining “Sacred” through the Indigenous Religion Paradigm: Case Study of Sunda Wiwitan Community in Kuningan

Fany Nur Rahmadiana Hakim(1),
(1) Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


The definition of sacred in the World Religions paradigm is limited to the things that have to do with the symbolization of spirituality. Oftentimes, the sacred value which is not in accordance with the characteristics required by the World Religions paradigm is considered as something non-religious. In terms of preserving nature, based on the findings, many scholars have proven that indigenous people have their own value in interpreting the sacred. By attaching the sacred word to the realm where they live, it is not merely a matter of ownership or a place where they practice religious rituals. The Sunda Wiwitan community in Kuningan is one model that still carries out the tradition of ancestral heritage which they apply to the ecological aspect by the forest zoning and having a special place, namely Leuweung Leutik, a sacred little forest which for them is not only a place to perform rituals, but also as a means of preserving nature. Through the paradigm of Indigenous Religions, in which indigenous people have a strong connection with nature and recognize the subjectivity of nature as coequal living things, they are able to treat nature as they benefit from nature. This paper examines how the paradigm of Indigenous Religion is able to give new meaning to what is the sacred, which in this regard they apply to customary forest management. With a qualitative research approach using mixed data collections: secondary data and in-depth interviews, this paper explains new ideas obtained from the local knowledge of the Sunda Wiwitan community in Kuningan in order to protect their sacred place.

Towards an Interreligious Engagement: A Case Study of Paguyuban Eklasing Budi Murko (PEBM) in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta

Suheri Suheri(1)Haris Fatwa Dinal Maula(2),
(1) Gerakan Kerelawanan Internasional (GREAT), Yogyakarta, Indonesia

(2) Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Indonesia


The feeling of being the majority often drives people to hegemony other minorities. The presence of religious minorities seems marginalized because they do not have much power to assert their existence. This study examines the dynamic relationship between Paguyuban Eklasing Budi Murko (PEBM) followers and the religious majority in the Salamrejo. Thus, this research uses two theories: the indigenous religion paradigm and the non-formal interfaith dialogue. The research data is collected from an in-depth interview, literature studies, and mainstream online data. The hegemony assumption reveals that the feeling of the majority continues dominating society. In contrast, the hypothesis is too general. The relationship of PEBM as the indigenous religion and world religions community, particularly Islam, does not reflect this hypothesis. The dynamic relationships between PEBM and the majority groups in the village of Salamrejo are engaging with one another, which is influenced by two factors: First, Mbah Mangun is the elder and the most respected person in PEBM. Second, by the teachings of PEBM per se, which is very fluid to all religions in the paradigm of inter-subjectivity and interreligious engagement as a new strategy for PEBM to encourage social acceptance.

Cultural Violence towards the LGBTQ+ Community in Islamic Majority Country: A Case From’s Comment Section

Siti Ivadhea Harrisa(1)Nokia Putri Andika Lainsyamputty(2),
(1) Udayana University Bali, Indonesia
(2) Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, IndonesiaAbstract

Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country. Therefore, Islamic values can be found in every aspect of national and state life. The privilege and power that Muslims have as the majority were used to structurally marginalize the minority group. It changes the essence of religious people who worship God into fanaticism that deifies religion. This study aims to explore the mechanism of cultural conflict and violence against the LGBTQ+ community in the online landscape, primarily through the platform after the pandemic hit. This research uses theories of cultural violence from Johan Galtung and cultural hegemony from Antonio Gramsci. This research uses a thematic analysis method from the comment section of posts. From 19 LGBTQ+ themed posts in from March 2020 to November 2021, it was found that some audiences still perceive LGBTQ+ as a deviation, mainly from Indonesian and Islamic values. This leads to the justification of cultural violence towards the LGBTQ+ community and the rejection of acknowledging LGBTQ+ as part of CSE. These findings show the importance of CSE integrated curriculum that included the LGBTQ+ matter to form an inclusive society. Peace study is also seen as the solution to solve the cultural conflict, violence, and hegemony in Indonesia.

Deconstructing the Dichotomy of Agama and Kepercayaan: A Transformative Strategy in the Politic of Recognition towards Marapu Indigenous Religion

Krisharyanto Umbu Deta(1),
(1) Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) Salatiga, IndonesiaAbstract

The category of agama is mainly referred to the six recognized world religions in Indonesia while kepercayaan is a general terminology that is used to accommodate the Indonesian indigenous religions. The indigenous religions are excluded from the category because agama has been perceived in a very essentialist way making it being differentiated. Recently, the Constitutional Court Decision in 2017 allowing indigenous religions to put their religious identity in their ID Card has been considered as the most progressive changes in the politics of religion in Indonesia. In that regard, this work will deconstruct the problematic dichotomy as a form of transformative strategy for gaining recognition. This research uses Nancy Fraser and Kristian Stokke’s frameworks of the problem of misrecognition and its affirmative and transformative remedies as the main theoretical frameworks. This research found that what has been done mostly so far in the effort of gaining recognition is arguably a part of affirmative strategy. By examining the specific case of the Marapu community, this work would also have significance to the Indonesian indigenous religions in general whose problem of recognition is also rooted in the dichotomy.

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