“I became more pious after visiting Temple!, those were the words of Akhmad Shiddiq, a CRCS alumnus (2006), in describing his experience doing exchange study program at Temple University, USA. After passing a series of test for the program which was undertaken by CRCS, he attended Temple University during the 2009 Spring Semester. He left Indonesia for the United States early January of this year and came back last month.
When asked about his aims on attending Temple University in Philadelphia, Shiddiq asserted that for quite a long time it had been his immense desire to see the way Americans live in their multi-ethnic condition so that he could compare it with the multi-ethnic and cultural society in Indonesia.
“I found that the Americans are very religious compare to the Europeans. The Americans in Philadelphia show a great deal of respect to religions and tolerance among multi-cultural society,” stated Shiddiq who has never been to Europe, however has such a kind of viewpoint through his literature research.
Temple University, according to Shiddiq, has a deep cluster of religion and anthropology. He was very excited toward that cluster seeing that he majored Religion and Local Culture. During his semester stay at Temple University, he studied Indigenous African Religions and Cultures.
Moreover, each religion taught in that university has its own specific professor or religious leader who is hired as a permanent staff. He observed, “By doing so, the study on each religion is deeper. So, having a religious leader of every religion as a permanent staff is a valuable thing to be considered by CRCS.”
Shiddiq was guided by Prof. Dr. Irwan Abdullah during his thesis writing process about religion, society and local culture at CRCS last year. (Gie)
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