The KORDISKA’S Perception of Pluralism

Author : Chung Ye Seon (CRCS, 2007)
Keywords : pluralism, relation between Muslims and Christians, KORDISKA, UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta, and Indonesia
In Indonesia, rising religious conflicts and booming terrors have made pluralism a critical issue that should be taken into serious consideration. In order to look at its potential and limitation, it is necessary to look at its concrete picture, how it is interpreted and practiced in reality.To grasp the concrete picture of pluralism, this thesis examines a Muslim youth association, KORDISKA (Korps Dakwah Islamiyah Sunan Kalijaga) in UIN (The State Islamic University), Yogyakarta. The KORDISKA is selected for this study, in that it has been engaged extensively in inter-religious activities and dialogues and has made efforts to spread pluralistic views to its members and the society. Through my research in the KORDISKA, I have attempted to find out answers to three key questions: what are the factors which shape their perception of pluralism, how diverse are their understandings of pluralism, and what do they suggest for promoting tolerance and peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians. The findings are as follows:

First, there are three factors which play a central role in constructing their view of pluralism: interaction with non-Muslims, academic education and activities related to pluralism in the KORDISKA. This indicates that the notion of pluralism is not a naturally inherited but an educated one, and that, without conscious efforts, it cannot be easily received by Muslims.

Second, the members of KORDISKA have diverse understandings of pluralism. The difference is clearly expressed in their views on the truth in other religions, participation in rituals of other religions and inter-religious marriage.

Third, as ways of promoting inter-religious harmony, they emphasize the role of Indonesian tradition rather than an imported ideology of pluralism as ways of promoting inter-religious harmony. According to them, Muslims in Indonesia have to develop their own cultural tradition, Gotong-Royong and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, to achieve tolerance, peace and cooperation in interreligious relations.

This post is also available in: Indonesian

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