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Forced Religious Conversion by DI/TII Movement in Tana Toraja during 1950-65: A Study of Collective Memory and Ethno-Religious Identity


The dissertation that follows is a study of interconnectedness between collective memory and the making of collective identity. Collective memory on forced conversion to Islam during DI/TII occupation in Tana Toraja has been in dynamic encounter with present images through which Torajans ethnically and religiously perceive their identity. The main concern of this study is the understanding of forced religious conversion as event connected to the use of present images on which platform Torajan reconstruct their past in the face of present challenges and threats. It is an attempt to understand the construction of ethno-religious identity within the mainstream of cultural memory of enmities and at the same time struggle to preserve norms of peaceful co-existence. The research employs collective memory theory in analyzing this socio-religious phenomenon. Collective memory helps to understand the way people remember within the predominant though of the society. Within the constructed ethno-religious identity, collective memory tends to move from the realm of living memory to the objectification through sites of memory.

Key Words: forced religious conversion, collective memory, cultural memory, present images