The Personal Consequences of Religious Change in a Toraja Village
This paper analyses the personal consequences of religious change in a Toraja village, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It describes how Toraja villagers traditionally define and respond to wrongdoing and then examines their ambivalent reactions to alternatives suggested by Christianity. The paper argues that studies which attempt to evaluate the relative costs and benefits of religious change should specify the subjectively perceived "fit" between old and new religious conceptions and should examine the manner in which individuals use cultural symbols and institutions to order and make sense of their everyday experience. --Author's Abstract
The Indonesian national government has long been faced with the daunting task of forging a modern nation-state out of several thousand far-flung islands inhabited by hundreds of different ethnic groups. While acknowledging, and at times even showcasing, the vast cultural and linguistic diversity of its citizenry, 1 it has nevertheless steadfastly insisted that all the peoples of Indonesia accept the five founding principles of the nation (belief in one God; nationalism; humanitarianism; social justice; and democracy), the Pancasila, as the basis for participation in, and representation by, the national government.
One of the most important principles of the Pancasila, from the government's point of view, is belief in one God, ketuhanan. There are two basic reasons for promoting monotheism. First, belief in a single God suggests a national consen-____________________