World and Indigenous Religions in Dialogue

Course Name : World and Indigenous Religions in Dialogue
Course Code : SPSAG6223
Units : 3

This is a graduate seminar class. It is to discuss the “encounters” between world religions and indigenous religions around the world and in Indonesia. It will critically examine the term “religion” as an academic category, which has been developed to the category “world religions” and the term “indigenous” as an emerging academic category that accommodate those excluded in the category “world religions.” This class will explore the scholarship on how “world religions” spread all over the world. Theories of religious encounters (the world religions and local cultures/indigenous religions) will be elaborated.

Theories, perspectives, issues and experiences of indigenous religions of the world, and especially Indonesia will be part of critical discussion in this class. What we mean by “indigenous religions” is the fundamental question. Rather than perceiving the term, “Indigenous Religions,” essentially, this class views the subject as analytical and theoretical category. As observed in the scholarship, the term is unstable. It is still a debatable category among scholars of religious studies. While engaging the debates, this class defines its subject as the study of religious practices of indigenous (or local) peoples: how indigenous peoples experience and perceive their religious experiences, in addition to how their indigenous religious practices are represented by the (post)colonial and modern scholarships that deploy the paradigm of world religions.