Consortium of:

Required Courses


Theories of Religion and Society (1st Semester)


This doctoral seminar discusses the study of religion as an interdisciplinary study. It serves as an introduction to classical theories of religion and how it relates to society. It examines the works of influential scholars about the relation between religion and the many aspects of societal life. The doctoral seminar is expected to stimulate critical thinking about the study of religion in the academic context and its influence on the wider context i.e. society, culture, politics and economics.

Considering the vastness of the field now called "religious study", this doctoral seminar explores important facets of the academic study of religion and inter-religious studies or religion and society. The course problematizes the category of "religion” and “agama”.  In addition, this doctoral seminar will examine the political construction of religion (how [political] power defines religion) and the academic construction of religion/agama (how religion is "invented in the act of studying it), including its impact on public discourse and policymaking. Other aspects of understanding religion will be discussed in relation to other concepts such as identity, populism, democracy, etc.

Aims of the Seminar

This doctoral seminar introduces students to classical theories of religion and society and their significance for today’s religious phenomena   from a number of disciplines (anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, philosophy, theology, phenomenology, and others).  The course shows students how these theories are used by Indonesian and other scholars to interpret the historical realities of religions in Indonesia (and Asia), as well as to understand the influence of these theories on Indonesian self-understanding.   It aims to provide students, from different academic backgrounds, with a common field of discourse that facilitates communication   across disciplines.  It is designed to promote independent learning, creativity, and critical thinking in the study of religion.


History of Religions (2nd Semester)


In this course, the students will deal with the discourse of history of religions, notably in Indonesian and the Southeast Asian context. Discourse of history is presumed as the important if not essential for any religious and inter-religious research and elaboration. It may give diachronic perspective in dealing with religious issues. A historical perspective might also help to frame the religious discourse in term of understand the genealogical and larger patterns of the present-day religious expression. Furthermore, religions are always part of the historical, social, political, and cultural development of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, hence in this course; the student will investigate the role of religions in shaping those processes in some selected historical phases.

Aims of the Seminar

There are three primary goals:

  • The course aims about the history of relations between religious communities, in particular in Indonesia and Southeast Asia contexts. A common discourse is not the same as agreement or a “master narrative”. Given the great diversity of students’ academic and religious backgrounds our goal is a productive conversation, based on some shared understandings of the history of religions.
  • The course aims to help each student understand the landscape of the theories of histories and historiography, and different narratives of the history of religions in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. We assume that different religious communities have different assumptions about their place in history that give rise to different, complementary and/or conflicting narratives about their community as part of Indonesian identity.
  • The course aims to help students define their questions about religions in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and then choose and apply appropriate theories and methods for finding out what they want to understand.