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Jakarta And Jayapura: The Dialogue Of Religions And ‘Papua, Land Of Peace’

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Chapter Summary

Different varieties of both Christianity and Islam established themselves in parts of the Asia-Pacific region by interacting with indigenous cultures: the Islamisation of Indonesia and the Christianisation of Melanesia. Each tradition vigorously asserted an identity that was purportedly 'universal' in that it claimed to transcend localised or inherited ethnic and religious identities by participating in a global community. Each 'universal' tradition faced a similar dilemma: elimination of or accommodation to these indigenous cultures? The danger envisaged in each case was that of syncretism. The paper will investigate Islam's and Christianity's resources for relating constructively to indigenous cultures to the point where this could become a bridge of communication between Islam and Christianity themselves - their 'ecumenist' potential. It will focus on the potential of modernising and 'liberationist' tendencies in Indonesian Islam to deal with the ethical dilemmas raised by transmigrasi and the exploitation of West Papua's land and people.

Keywords: Christianisation of Melanesia; indigenous cultures; Islamisation of Indonesia; Jakarta; Jayapura; Land Of Peace; liberationist tendencies; Papua; syncretism; The Dialogue Of Religions



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