Ph.D. Herrmans Isabell

106400 €

Dynamics of Religion at the Margins of Modern Indonesia

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

The Indonesian state is based on belief in one supreme God. Religious freedom is supported as long as one confesses to one of the six officially recognized “world religions” (agama), which are defined by a scriptural monotheistic doctrine. These world religions are contrasted with a variety of local traditions and belief systems. This research project explores what the norm-setting religious politics of the Indonesian nation-state means for Indonesia’s many minority religions, with a special focus on the Kaharingan religion as practiced by the Luangan Dayak. The project involves comparative research across two neighboring areas, the provinces of East and Central Kalimantan, in which a key condition to be studied – the recognition of local beliefs and practices as Religion for state purposes – differ. In my research I ask what work the agama concept accomplishes in practice. What does it include and what does it exclude? My research objective is two-fold: to explore how minority religious practices and discourse challenge national and global definitions of religion, and how they are articulated with local, national, and global hierarchies of value.