In an interview with Voice of America Balkans Service (VOA), Ambassador Vesko Garčević, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, discussed the influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in Montenegro’s political sphere and on the current government. In the article, titled “Vesko Garčević: Dvostruki, sve…
Based on the new research Najam has been conducting at Oxford as the Mahatir Mohamad Visiting Fellow, the talk reviewed what the role of religion in general and Islam, in particular, would be in Muslim societies in the “Age of Adaptation” where climate impacts have become a reality.
While the political importance of the churches has noticeably decreased over time, in Orthodox countries such as those in the Western Balkans, the church remains a significant actor and is inextricably linked to both politics and state power. Garčević and Morrison explore why the SPC remains a potent force in public and political life today.
Professor Najam suggested that the view that “if we only get the science right, the right values will themselves emerge” has proven to be insufficient and it is time to move from a science-faith divide to a common strategy for confronting one of the great moral crises of our times: climate change.
Professor Hefner argued that Indonesia, and NU specifically, has the potential to make enormous contributions to the global community; “it’s time for NU to rise to the international stage, speak out, and make such a positive contribution to solving political problems as well as intellectual and moral challenges faced by all humanity.”
Despite Indonesia’s history of authoritarian rule as well as severe political and economic crisis, Hefner finds hope in the country’s continued commitment to a multi-religious and multi-ethnic Indonesia.
Professor Hefner was one of 220 religious leaders and policy analysts from all faith traditions and more than sixty countries in attendance to discuss how to reveal nurturing religion as a source of global solutions.
In his remarks, Professor Menchik addresses two main questions: how can moderate Islam be effectively implemented in the public sphere, and what are the internal and external challenges to identity politics in Indonesia and the wider world?
“The challenges that Indonesian democracy faces have more to do with structural vulnerabilities that are plaguing or afflicting democracy around the world than they do anything specific to ‘Islam’ or Muslim society in Indonesia.”
More than a celebration of Jose Casanova’s “Public Religions in the Modern World” and its argument, this conference was an invitation to examine the global transformations of religions in the public sphere in the last twenty-five years.
Professor Hefner’s remarks echoed the findings of his recent paper, which analyzes the causes and consequences of the “conservative turn” in Indonesian Muslim politics in democratic Indonesia.
Professor Hefner outlines how efforts to build a sustainable consensus on both character education and citizenship have been made more difficult by two contemporary trends.
The documentary – “Religion in Quarantine: The Covid Pandemic in Indonesia” – traces the response of Indonesia’s diverse religious communities to the COVID-19 pandemic from early 2020 to late 2021.
Professor Hefner and fellow experts highlight ongoing religious freedom issues facing two of the largest democracies in the world: India and Indonesia.
Based on forthcoming research, Professor Hefner’s remarks explore the declining momentum of Islamist movements in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the temporary rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Global experts discuss the role of faith-based actors in the areas of forced migration and humanitarian issues, ways in which religion offers both motivation and resources to tackle these challenges, as well as how religion and politics intersect to address migrant crises.
Although Indonesia’s democracy continues to face challenges from Islamist populists, Hefner suggested those challenges have more to do with old-regime alliances than they do qualities of Islamic culture or public ethics.
Professor Hefner addresses the question of how you measure the progress of human civilization in the current age, the balance and collaboration between religion and democracy, as well as lessons that the world can learn from Indonesia.
“My biggest concern is that the country seems to be more divided than ever, even more than when we voted for independence.”
“Unfortunately, the violent means used by the protesters in Cetinje overshadowed the legitimate reasons and revulsion felt by people in Montenegro with the inauguration being held in Cetinje.”