Diversity in Harmony. Photo By: Arnold Panjaitan.
In 2022, ICRS and CRCS UGM were ranked number 47 in the world for the Theology, Divinity, and Religious Studies by Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings (QS WUR). While we are happy for the recognition, such a ranking serves as a reminder that we need to continue striving for excellence. In the past few years a few changes reflect this effort at strengthening the field of study.
We are happy to announce the publication of a new book Studi Antaragama: Metode dan Praktik (Interreligious Studies: Methods and Practice), recently published by UGM Press. This book is a collection of writings by ICRS lecturers, mostly coming from the three universities in the Consortium (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Islam Negeri Yogyakarta, and Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana). The chapters reflect on the development of interreligious studies from particular perspectives of the Consortium university members, joining the global conversation on the field. It also has a chapter mapping and analyzing more than 50 dissertations produced by ICRS students.
Another happy development in building interreligious studies is the coming of the Studies in Interreligious Dialogue journal to ICRS in January 2024. This international peer-reviewed journal, published since 1990 by Peeters Publishers (Leuven, Belgium) was previously managed from Radboud University, Nijmegen. Prof. Frans Wijsen, its editor-in-chief, has been an Adjunct Professor at UGM since 2022. One of the motivations to move the home of the journal is the observation that the study of interreligious dialogue has now become more prominent in Southeast Asia. Along with this move, there is an expectation that the journal will attract more articles by researchers based in Asia, while at the same time remaining truly international.
In addition to Prof. Wijsen, since 2022 Prof. Michael Northcott has also officially been an Adjunct Professor, after teaching at ICRS and CRCS since 2019. We are also happy that we have hosted Dr. Michael Quinlan, our own alumnus, as an international visiting lecturer since 2020. Their presence has helped to strengthen ICRS students’ learning as well as publications.
Another development at ICRS is the enhancement of its website. As you may notice, we have just improved it, enriched its contents, and slightly changed its design. The same goes to the newsletter which has consistently, every single month since 2022, reached you. (If you have not subscribed to the newsletter, you may check the previous editions and subscribe at https://us19.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=d415c8a1031ee2754c91a76ff&id=9fa327fc7e).
Last but not least, as reflected in our Board page (https://www.icrs.or.id/advisory-board), this month we welcome four new members of our Board of Trustees: Ro'fah, MA., Ph.D. and Dr. Fachruddin Faiz (UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta), Samsul Maarif (CRCS, UGM), and Pdt. Handi Hadiwitanto, Ph.D (UKDW). We believe their presence will strengthen the significance of the cooperation between the three universities in bringing ICRS to new heights. For all these happy developments, we thank all our past board members, the founders of ICRS who are not with us anymore, as well as many supporters from Indonesia and abroad, who helped us in many ways, including providing scholarships for students and supporting our research. Without this support, we would not be where we are today.
Yogyakarta, January 2024.
Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir