Friday, January 25, 2013

Religious pluralism in Indonesia Muslim-Christian discourse

Fuad, Zainul. 2007. Religious pluralism in Indonesia Muslim-Christian discourse. University, Diss., 2005--Hamburg.

This study has shown how these scholars – Nurcholish Madjid, Abdurrahman Wahid, Quraish Shihab, J.B. Banawiratma, Eka Darmaputera and Franz Magnis Suseno – deal with the problem of religious pluralism and interreligious relations in Indonesia. It has shown various approaches and aspects of their ideas, which would be relevant in building mutual understanding between religious groups in particular between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia. Learning from the various approaches and aspects of the ideas of these scholars, I would like to remark some important points as follows.

In dealing with religious plurality, it is highly important that one preserves a tolerant attitude toward other religions and beliefs, not only due to socio-political consideration, but most importantly, due to religious consideration as well.

In the context of religious diversity, interreligious dialogue is obviously important, but also becomes a necessity. It is an effective tool to wipe out misunderstandings or negative constructions about other religions. Dialogue should be based on mutual respect. It should not be used for a theological debate to prove religious truth at the expense of the other. With this perspective, genuine dialogue implies a recognition of, and respect for, differences. Dialogue is not restricted only in the form of conversation. Dialogue is a way of living out the faith commitment in relation to each other. Banawiratma’s concept of dialogue needs to be reaffirmed.

In the context of religious difference, a common ground needs to be affirmed. Muslims and Christians could meet in what Madjid says “submission to God”. This process could be realized through what Banawiratma calls “paradigm of mediation”. For Christians, the mediator to God is Jesus, whereas for Muslims the Qur’an.

Muslims and Christians need to reconsider their respective religious teachings concerning inter-human relationship, which seem rigid, and attempt to contextualize them in accordance with the spirit of tolerance and humanity.

In the context of socio-political life, a common ground in Pancasila should be affirmed. It is only with such a basis that the conflict between religious groups can be eliminated. This is because of the neutral principle of Pancasila in the matter of religion. This principle should be preserved. Any attempt to impose a certain value system, which is contradictory to the neutral principle of Pancasila should be avoided.

With the principle of Pancasila, the State should guarantee the freedom of religion in a consistent way. Any intervention, restriction, and discrimination in the matter of religion have to be avoided.

A. Background of This Study
B.Objective of This Study
C. Scope of This Study
D. Outline of This Study
A. Muslim-Christian Relations at Early Contacts
B. Muslim-Christian Conflicts during the Independence Period
C. Muslim-Christian Conflicts during the New Order Era
D. Muslim-Christian Conflicts in the Post New Order Era
(from 1998 up to now)
A. The Policy of Government in Building Interreligious Harmony
B. The Council of Indonesian ‘Ulamā’ and Interreligious Relations
C. Private Initiatives of Interreligious Dialogues
A. The Meaning of Religious Pluralism and Tolerance
B. Muslim Perspective of Religious Pluralism and Tolerance
1. Nurcholish Madjid
2. Abdurrahman Wahid
3. Quraish Shihab
C. Christian Perspective on Religious Pluralism and Tolerance
1. J. B. Banawiratma
2. Franz-Magnis Suseno
3. Eka Darmaputera
A. Attitude towards Pluralism
B. Religious Pluralism and The Idea of Salvation
C. The Idea of Interreligious Dialogue
D. Pancasila as A Common Platform

1 comment:

  1. If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the Trinity, please check out my website at, and give me your thoughts on improving content and presentation.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.

    For more details, please see:

    Samuel Stuart Maynes