Religious Violence and Conciliation in Indonesia : Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas book cover
1st Edition

Religious Violence and Conciliation in Indonesia
Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas

ISBN 9781138962804
Published April 18, 2016 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

Maluku in eastern Indonesia is the home to Muslims, Protestants, and Catholics who had for the most part been living peaceably since the sixteenth century. In 1999, brutal conflicts broke out between local Christians and Muslims, and escalated into large-scale communal violence once the Laskar Jihad, a Java-based armed jihadist Islamic paramilitary group, sent several thousand fighters to Maluku. As a result of this escalated violence, the previously stable Maluku became the site of devastating interreligious wars.

This book focuses on the interreligious violence and conciliation in this region. It examines factors underlying the interreligious violence as well as those shaping post-conflict peace and citizenship in Maluku. The author shows that religion—both Islam and Christianity—was indeed central and played an ambiguous role in the conflict settings of Maluku, whether in preserving and aggravating the Christian-Muslim conflict or supporting or improving peace and reconciliation.

Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews as well as historical and comparative research on religious identities, this book is of interest to Indonesia specialists, as well as academics with an interest in anthropology, religious conflict, peace and conflict studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Moluccas Sectarian Unrest: Religion, History, and Local Dynamics 2. Perang Sabil: Islam, Radicalism, and the Idea of Holy War 3. Perang Salib: Christianity, Militancy, and the Crusades Imagery 4. The Indigenous Systems of Brotherhood and Dispute Resolution 5. Christian and Muslim Leaders and the Idea of Reconciliation 6. Grassroots Agencies and Peace Movement 7. Government Responses towards Peacebuilding Initiatives 8. Contemporary Moluccas: Religion, Regionalism, and Citizenship 9. Conclusion

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Sumanto Al Qurtuby is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia. His research interests include the study of Muslim politics and cultures, and the role religion plays in conflict, violence, peace, and public affairs.


One of the several welcome features of the book by Sumanto Al Qurtuby is its competent synthesis of this literature, its augmentation with some original research conducted in 2010, and the dispelling of myths and the o¿ering of new insights along the way. [...] it is di¿cult not to admire how the author rose to the challenge of a very di¿cult ethnographic situation and managed to secure – especially as a Javanese Muslim – remarkably balanced access to diverse groups from both sides. Roy Ellen, South East Asia Research 2019.