Jesuit-Muslim Relations In Indonesia: A Paradigm Shift


This presentation is grounded on library and field research concerning the presence of the Jesuits among the Muslims in Indonesia with a method that may be simply called ‘genealogy’. It is developed by tracing and interpreting the formation of common yet established works, concepts, or discourses, along with systematic reflections pursuant to certain Jesuit individuals, including relevant archives and written documents, as well as ‘oral history’ from both Jesuits and non-Jesuits. The approaches adopted by the Jesuits towards Muslims in Indonesia can be regarded as having been undergoing dynamic advancement and shifting from time to time. This is clearly reflected from profound thoughts by means of writings or real works of several Jesuits who are simultaneously opening dialogues with Muslims as well as following the direction of the Universal Catholic Church (cf. Nostra Aetate, art. 2).  Through the lens of Contextual Christology, it could be said that the Jesuits in Indonesia tend to build
an apostolic way of understanding, discerning and proceeding not merely in light of ‘Christ the Gate’ (Jn. 10: 7) but also ‘Christ the Bridge’.

About the Speaker
Siwi Dharma Jati SJ is an Indonesian Jesuit scholastic and student at the postgraduate
program of the Theology Department of Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta. Fr. Heru Prakosa, an Indonesian Jesuit priest, has been trained in Interreligious and Islamic Studies in Lebanon, England, and Italy. Since 2008, Heru has been lecturing in the postgraduate program of the Theology Department of Sanata Dharma University. He also has various teaching experiences at the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, which is attached to Gadjah Mada State University, Yogyakarta, Loyola School of Theology, Manila, and the Major Seminary at Karachi, Pakistan. Since 2013, Heru has been a member of the advisory body of the Jesuit Superior General for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Since 2020, he has been a member of the advisory body of Pope Francis for Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Siwi and Heru (with another Indonesian Jesuit scholastic Septian Kurniawan) have recently published a book entitled Yesuit dan Muslim: Dinamika Kehadiran Yesuit di Tengah Kaum Muslim di Indonesia [Jesuits and Muslims: A Dynamics of the Presence of the Jesuits among the Muslims in Indonesia], (Yogyakarta: Kanisius Press, 2022, 290 pp.).

About Conversations
Conversations is a theologico-cultural online Asian “coffee or tea room” where we can converse with each other in 1.5 -hour monthly or bi-monthly meetings. This virtual space features students, faculty, or alumni sharing their theological reflections on select aspects of our respective Asian cultures in the Jesuit Conference of South Asia and the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific. Selections may also include topics that discuss theologically those issues that are common to Asian contexts, such as poverty, globalization, migration, ecological degradation, etc.

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