This research cluster is an important component of the CRCS research development. CRCS recognizes the existence of indigenous religions living in different parts of Indonesian archipelago. Such recognition gives a rich insight on understanding religion from the local perspectives. This research cluster necessarily employs interdisciplinary approaches: history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and theology. The phenomena of indigenous religions and local variants of trans-cultural religions (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Baha’i, and so forth) pose some of the most interesting and important research questions. Among these are questions concerning the relationship between religion and other cultural domains, and in the case of local variants of trans-cultural religions, questions concerning the nature of and factors motivating or retarding “conversion,” and the nature of cultural as well as linguistic translation.

The second is that these are among the most important religious issues confronting Indonesia in the post-reformasi. Questions concerning the definition of the religion (agama) and culture (kebudayaan) are as much political as they are academic recognized not only in Indonesia, but in many other countries including India, Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand where “indigenous” religious and cultural rights are important issues. Similarly the question of “localization” of trans-cultural religions presents political challenges for followers of trans-cultural religions pitting the champions of the “local” against those who participate in global discourses and seek to establish monovocal global orthodoxies.

The research topics in this cluster include local wisdom, worldview, cosmology, mythology, ritual, ecology, kinship systems, (eco)tourism, and issues of indigenous rights.