The paper examines religious shrines as symbols and the cluster of local knowledge of Christian-Muslims relationships in Maluku. In the social-cultural context of Maluku, religious sanctuaries — mosque and church- have become interreligious spheres. Although the shrine stands for a specific religious ritual, in the cultural sense the building is the responsibility of interreligious community who intertwined in shared cultural identity (pela).
This research explores church and mosque as symbols of interreligious hyphenation. It is a hyphenated reality because, in the cultural sense, church-mosque belongs to Christian and Muslim. In the local dynamic of Christian-Muslim engagement, the shrine conveys the collective memory of kinship (rasa orang basudara) among Malukan Muslims and Christians. Using an interdisciplinary approach: Christian-Muslim engagement in the sociology of religion and collective memory in folklore studies, this paper explores Malukan church-mosque as the representation of the total system of indigenous culture in five islands in Maluku.
I employ ethnographic research: interview and participant observation along with the study of secondary data to comprehend the underneath meaning of the forest of symbols. This paper concludes that the religious shrine is one of the “collective representation” symbolizing the formation of shared identity and the reclaiming of cultural ground for Christian-Muslim engagement in Maluku.
Izak Lattu is a faculty member of the Department of Sociology of Religion at Satya Wacana Christian University (SWCU), Salatiga where he did his undergraduate degree in 1999. He has recently (2014) earned a Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union, affiliated UC, Berkeley. During his Ph.D. program, he earned a one-year dissertation writing scholarship (Pre-Doctoral Program) from the Ash Center of Harvard University. Izak is the first alumnus of CRCS UGM’s MA program (2002).