Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Muslim-Christian Relations Observed: Comparative Studies from Indonesia and the Netherlands

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Muslim-Christian Relations Observed: Comparative Studies from Indonesia and the Netherlands

Article excerpt

Muslim-Christian Relations Observed: Comparative Studies from Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Edited by Volker Kuster and Robert Setio.

Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2014.

Pp. vii, 391. Paperback 34 [euro]/ $42.

Muslim-Christian Relations Observed, the outcome of a series of consultations organized by the Indonesian Dutch Consortium on Muslim-Christian Relations, is a valuable recent contribution that juxtaposes Muslim and Christian encounters, discourses, and social realities in two contexts: contemporary Indonesia and the Netherlands. The contributors include scholars and activists, Christian and Muslim, from both countries. Organized into five sections, the book features twenty-three essays, an introduction by the editors, and short introductions to each of the sections. The volume will be of interest to students of Muslim-Christian relations, students of Islam and Christianity in Asia, as well as students of religion in modern Europe, religion and gender, and interreligious dialogue.

Essays in section 1 ("Identity") present the findings of research on particular Muslim or Christian communities--for instance, in The Hague or Surakarta. One essay focuses on religious education in Indonesia since 1998 (the beginning of the Reformasi period), and another covers Indonesian student attitudes toward religious plurality. These essays provide a revealing glimpse into the complex factors that shape the religious identities of Muslims and Christians in various contexts. The essays in section 2 ("Religion and State") look at the differing relationships between religion and politics in Indonesia and in Holland. Of special interest is a discussion of the political involvements of religious groups in Indonesia since 1998, and a discussion of the official statement on Islam published by the Protestant Church in the Netherlands in 2011. …

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