As well as holding a Master’s program, CRCS or Prodi ALB (Religious and Cross-Cultural Study Program) carries out intensive research. Gadjah Mada University specifies four strategic research priorities: the handling of vulnerable people, saving the environment, strengthening local culture and strengthening national sovereignty. In this regard, CRCS adopts an interdisciplinary approach to focus on the religious aspects of UGM’s strategic research priorities. As well as conducting general research to develop knowledge, CRCS’s research aims to strengthen civil society advocacy and consider public policy in the field of religion. To achieve this aim we have developed three areas of research. We have established mutual cooperation with various stakeholders to develop research within the scope of these research areas.


Religion and Politics
If the nation-state was an important marker of political developments in the world in the second half of the 20th century, the rise of religion has become an important marker in the early 21st century. Therefore, the relationship between state, society and religion has inevitably become one of the central issues in the world in recent years, including in Indonesia. Religion not only influences political expression and social relationships in society but is also itself influenced by the socio-political context in which it occurs. After intensive research and study, this research group developed the theory and practice of “civic pluralism” in the context of Indonesian society. Research in this group continues to be developed in the study of religion and public policy, civic pluralism advocacy, the politics of religious education, religion and violence, religion and local politics and so on.
CRCS’s research published in the field of religion and politics includes among others:

  • Serial Report on Religious Life: Local Politics and Religious Conflict: Elections and Political Opportunity
  • Structure in Religious Conflict in Sampang, Bekasi and Kupang
  • Serial Report on Religious Life: The Politics of Religious Education, 2013 Curriculum and School Public Space
  • Managing Diversity and Religious Freedom: History, Theory and Advocacy (First book)
  • Managing Diversity and Religious Freedom: Reflection for some approaches to advocacy (second book)
  • Civic Pluralism: A New Direction of Political Diversity in Indonesia
  • Annual Report of Religious Life in Indonesia 2008
  • Annual Report of Religious Life in Indonesia 2009
  • Annual Report of Religious Life in Indonesia 2010
  • Annual Report of Religious Life in Indonesia 2011
  • Annual Report of Religious Life in Indonesia 2012

Interfaith Relations
Along with the development of transportation technology and intensified migration, the world nowadays is more complex. Indonesia is no exception. Consequently, dialogue and cooperation among religions continues to deepen. However, interreligious relations are also marked by tension, conflict and violence between religious communities. In development, the need for dialogue often occurs not only in interreligious regions but also intra-religious regions. Adopting a perspective of religious freedom and harmony, CRCS carries out a range of research in this field, with topics such as interreligious life in Indonesia, the potential and practice of wisdom between religious groups in reconciliation, freedom of religion, interreligious dialogue, houses of worship, revival of religions and so on.

CRCS’s research published in the area of interreligious relations includes among others:

  • Aspiration for Modernity and Prosperity: Symbols and Sources Behind Pentecostal/ Charismatic Growth in Indonesia
  • Papua’s Hidden Pearl: The Potential of Local Wisdom for Reconciliation in Papua
  • Religious Pluralism and Religious Freedom: Religions, Society, and The State in Dialogue
  • Crescent in Bali: Traces of Islam in Kusamba, Bali
  • Badingsanak Banjar-Dayak: Religious Identity and the Economics of Ethnicity in South Kalimantan
  • Religion in Indonesia by Numbers: Demographic Dynamics based on the 2000 and 2010 Population Census
  • Church Controversy in Jakarta
  • Interreligious Dialogue: Ideas and Practice in Indonesia

Religion, Culture and Nature
In recent decades scholars have been compelled to look back on the relationship between religion and culture, including the existence of local beliefs. Moreover, along with environmental crises and the occurrence of massive natural disasters, discussions about religion, local culture and the environment (nature) have become increasingly important. The colonial paradigm, a perspective usually adopted by the big “world” religions, needs to be reviewed or corrected in a process of emancipation for more equal inter-group relations. Adopting an intersubjective cosmological perspective, this research group rearranges the relationship between religion, culture and nature by conducting research on topics such as religion and local culture, local religions or penghayat beliefs, religion and natural disasters, religion and the environment and so on.

CRCS’s research published in the field of religion, culture and nature includes among others:

  • On the Connections Between Religion and Disaster: A Literature Review
  • Religion, Culture and Disaster: An Integrative Study of Science, Religion and Culture (first book)
  • Disaster and Religion Series: Local Community Response on Disaster: An Integrative Study of Science, Religion and Culture (second book)
  • Disaster and Religion Series: The Construction of Disaster Resilient Communities: An Integrative Study of Science, Religion and Culture (third book)

Current Research
There are several topics of research currently being undertaken at CRCS, such as: (a) Demography of Religion in Kalimantan; (b) The Practice of Interreligious Marriage Law in Indonesia; (c) Religious Life Serial Report: Local Religion; (d) the potential for reconciliation between religious groups in West Java; (e) Practices of Multicultural Education in Schools in Yogyakarta

Research Cooperation
To continue developing research, CRCS has established mutual cooperation with various groups in Indonesia and overseas in both private institutions and government agencies. This research uses qualitative and quantitative methods, or a mixture of both.

To date CRCS has had experience working on research programs with the Templeton Foundation in America, HIVOS in the Netherlands, the TIFA Foundation in Jakarta, the Asia Foundation in Jakarta and more.