Strengthening Interreligious Studies and Interfaith Dialogue in Asia: A Preliminary Overview


This paper attempts to elucidate the future of interreligious studies and interfaith dialogue in Asia’s landscape, which deals with the critical phase of religion and politics relationship. Nowadays, Asia is moving along a dangerous track, as religion is actively involved in political contestation. Thus, the emergence of what is called ethnopolitics is defining Asia’s trend. This article argues that the crisis in many Asian countries has crucial implications for inter-group relationships and coexistence. This paper also argues that the development and examination of interreligious studies and interfaith dialogue in this situation is not solely an academic activity. Interreligious studies can produce productive tools and mechanisms for challenging and reducing the negative impact of the relationship between religion and politics.

Keywords: Religion; Politics; Conflict; Crisis; Interreligious Studies; Interfaith Dialogue; Asia

[1] Öktem K, Akkoyunlu K. Exit from democracy: illiberal governance in Turkey and beyond. Vol. 16, Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea.

[2] Rabasa A. Political Islam in Southeast Asia: Moderates, Radicals and Terrorists. ADELPHI Pap. 2003;1(358).

[3] Boland BJ. The Struggle of Islam in Modern Indonesia. The Struggle of Islam in Modern Indonesia.

[4] Banchoff T. Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics. Religious Pluralism, Globalization, and World Politics.

[5] Grit K. “Religion Teaches Peace and Harmony.” Exchange. 2019;48(4).

[6] Minkenberg M. Democracy and religion: Theoretical and empirical observations on the relationship between Christianity, Islam and liberal democracy. J Ethn Migr Stud. 2007;33(6).

[7] Bader V. Religious diversity and democratic institutional pluralism. Polit Theory. 2003;31(2).

[8] Bader V. Religious pluralism: Secularism or priority for democracy? Vol. 27, Political Theory.

[9] Musschenga AW. Veit Bader, Secularism or Democracy? Associational Governance of Religious Diversity. Ethical Theory Moral Pract. 2009;12(4).

[10] Norris P. Democratic deficit: Critical citizens revisited. Democratic Deficit: Critical Citizens Revisited.

[11] Grzymala-Busse A. Why comparative politics should take religion (more) seriously. Vol. 15, Annual Review of Political Science.

[12] Herbert D. Religion and civil society: Rethinking public religion in the contemporary world. Religion and Civil Society: Rethinking Public Religion in the Contemporary World.

[13] Smith M, Marden P. Capturing the religious spirit: A challenge for the secular state. J Church State. 2013;55(1).

[14] Pavolini E, Béland D, Jawad R. Mapping the relationship between religion and social policy. Vol. 33, Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy

[15] Haynes J, Hough P, Malik S, Pettiford L. World politics: International relations and globalisation in the 21st century. World Politics: International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century.

[16] Falk R. Religion and global governance: harmony or clash? Int J World Peace. 2002;19(1).

[17] Baškarada S. The Qualitative Report Qualitative Case Study Guidelines Qualitative Case Study Guidelines. Qual Rep. 2014;19(40).

[18] Avison WR, Stewart DW. Secondary Research: Information Sources and Methods. Can J Sociol / Cah Can Sociol. 1986;11(2).

[19] Arthur Asa Berger. Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. SAGE Publications.

[20] Peter C. Phan JYT. Interreligious Majority-Minority Dynamics. In: David Cheetham, Douglas Pratt DT, editor. Understanding Interreligious Relations. First. Oxford: Oxford University Press; p. 218–

[21] Hefner RW. Civil Islam: Muslims and democratization in Indonesia. Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia.

[22] Khalid A. Islam after communism: Religion and politics in Central Asia. Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia.

[23] Patel E. Toward a Field of Interfaith Studies. Lib Educ. 2013;99(4).

[24] Bush R. Religious politics and minority rights during the Yudhoyono presidency. In: Edward Aspinall, Marcus Mietzner DT, editor. The Yudhoyono Presidency: Indonesia’s Decade of Stability and Stagnation. First. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia Studies (ISEAS); p.

[25] Liberati C, Longaretti R, Michelangeli A. Explaining and measuring tolerant behavior. SSRN Electron J. 2019;

[26] Rath J, Penninx R, Groenenduk K, Meyer a. The Politics of Recognizing Religious Diversity in Europe. Social Reactions to the Institutionalization of Islam in the Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain. Vol. 29, Netherlands’ Journal of Social Sciences.

[27] Neufeldt RC. Interfaith Dialogue: Assessing Theories of Change. Peace Chang. 2011;36(3).

[28] Marquardt M. Interreligious Dialogue in Conflict Situations. Eur Jud. 2008;37(1).

[29] Mookherjee M. Introduction – Liberal Democracy and Religious Pluralism: Accommodating or Resisting the Diversity of a Globalising Age? In: Studies in Global Justice.