Hefner Gives Keynote at Indonesian Pancasila Congress

September 11, 2018

Robert HefnerProfessor of Anthropology and International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, recently delivered a keynote address at the 10th Annual Congress of the Pancasila at the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia held on August 23, 2018.

First formulated in 1945, the Pancasila or “Five Principles” is the official political philosophy of Indonesia.  In recent years it has been the subject of heightened discussion in state and societal circles, as Indonesians have rethought the Pancasila’s meaning for a democratic Indonesia and for the country’s place in the global world order.

Hefner’s presentation followed opening remarks by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, the country’s first female Foreign Minister.  Entitled “Makna dan Relevansinya Prinsip Pancasila untuk Dunia dan Politik Kini” [The Meaning and Relevance of Indonesia’s Pancasila National Philosophy for Politics and the Global Community], Hefner’s presentation situated the Pancasila in relation to the “post-secular turn” in contemporary global politics.

Robert Hefner has directed 19 research projects and organized 18 international conferences, and authored or edited nineteen books.  He is former president of the Association for Asian Studies.  At CURA, he has directed the program on Islam and civil society since 1991; coordinated interdisciplinary research and public policy programs on religion, pluralism, and world affairs; and is currently involved in two research projects: “The New Western Plurality and Civic Coexistence: Muslims, Catholics, and Secularists in North America and Western Europe”; and “Sharia Transitions: Islamic Law and Ethical Plurality in the Contemporary World.” You can read more about him here

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