donderdag 26 december 2013

Some prosperity, good health and above all, peace! Best wishes for 2014.

It rains today, it is cold, not really winter cold, but dark weather, the time of Christmas and New Year. End of the year, writing the end-year summaries. Time for the seasonal greetings with some pictures this time. Firs the two of us: both 71 years old and we are happy with pretty good health, enough prosperity to enoy life and peace with ourselves, our family and friends and peace in this part of the world. Have a look below.

In 2013 the wives of our sons Floris and Stijn, Irene and even more serious Inge, had to recover from the  health problems experienced while delivering in 2012. The young lady Maud grew steadily, like also more heavy and broadly built Diemer.  Our sons Floris and Stijn had to work very hard in their jobs, besides taking care for the babies (from very early in the morning, 5 am is not an exception for both) This is the style of modern parenthood (probably also the older style, but we have forgotten all these details about the troubles and anguishes during first years of our children and only remember the nice aspects and good outcome.
Paule edited the 90th issue of Steenbrink Times, started in 1992 while we lived in Montreal. It was a uarterly magazine of mutual information for members of our great family. But now more and more members of our generation are growing old and therefore there is less news and so she decided to stop the publication. Thank you for publishing it nearly 22 years!
Karel gave still a HOVO course in the first half ot the year, but after more than six years the series had stopped: the series about beginning, development of Islam until the modern developments had reache hundreds of people, but now it was enough: repetition is not always good. The third volume of the Catholic History of Indonesia was also a long-term project, starting in the early 1990s and for the last volume in 2007. It is now finished as the 3d volume under the title: Catholics in Independent Indonesia. It is still a matter of discussion where it will be published. KITLV has stopped its editing service. Karel was with Gurkan Celik in Utrecht and Johan Leman in Louvain editor for a book on Fethullah Gülenand his influence among European Muslims. I hope that it will be publiehd in 2014.

There was some traveling: to Kent in May together with the older sisters Alice and Edwien; karel went to EUROSEAS in Lisbon, early July; together we went to see Assisi and Perugia (again) in September.  Karel gave some guestlecture in the period 4-13 December, at the UIn of Jakarta and in Kupang to celebrate the birth of ASAKKIA, Association of Christian Islamologists in Indonesia.Alle these events were decribed in some blog stories.
Grand children are very often an interesting duty for us in these years. Paule reads many novels, Karel only when he wants to write about it, like the novels of Ayu Utami for the EUROSEAS Conference. We often walk, swim, try to stay in good condition also by long walks. We thank God for peace and prosperity in our country and many parts of Europe and pray that there may be peace in the whole world.

dinsdag 24 december 2013

ASSAKIA C: others members and discussion about strategies

ASSAKIA stand for the Association of Christian Islamologists in Indonesia, constituted for at a meeting in Kupang, 9-10 December 2013. In my previous blogs I have given some details about the preparation and the procedures, more still about some of the major members.
Here I will add some more about two members and then about the important topics of the discussion.

Above here the core members at its start of ASAKKIA, with on the first row, second from right, the chairman of MUI Kupang. Second row, second from right is the coming man for Islam at UKDW in Yogyakarta, Wahyu Nugroho (to become the successor to the 'old man' from Islamic Studies in Protestant Indonesia, Djoko Soetopo).  Wahyu has finished his dissertation and will defend it in Rostock with Klaus Hock as Doktorvater. He writes on Nashbandiya in Indonesia with a special interest for the Turkish connection. It will be more about the Cyprus-Shaykh Nazim and the Haqqani branch than about the Gülen spirituality which is not really considered as some mystical movement.
Daniel Suyarmo has a very special personal history. He comes from a pious Muslims family and has some experiece of living in a pesantren, at least in a santri community. He was at a Catholic highschool in Ambarawa when he converted to Christianity, the Evangelical rather than the Catholic tradition. He joined the STII theological school in Yogyakarta, UKRIM of Universitas Kristen Emanuel in Kalasan, east of Yogyakarta where Chris Marantika is the great leader. His master degree in theology was at the more liberal- socially engaged UKSW in Salatiga.
is Daniel is now teaching at the Kijne School of theology in Abepura/Papua. He is close to At Ipenburg who also was teaching for quite many years at this school. He has a quote about Neles Tebai: 'Papuas should not be talking about merdeka or independence: do you really like to have a failed state like Timor Leste?' Improving the fate of Papuas is not helped by revolutionary, let alone violent attacks. He came all the way from Sentani: through Makassar and then to Jakarta, following a transit to Kupang. On his way back he will take the same detour, but make a stop in Central Java to see his family.

This ASAKKIA is much different from its approach to Islam than Hendrik Kraemer. They have no hope that Muslims in Indonesia will convert to become Christians. They are happy when there are good relations and in the texts for the conference it has become very clear that inter-religious harmony, peace, understanding, are the main, even the only goals for their association. They see Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian often as a disturbance for the real goal of Christian Churches: that they may live in peace and harmony. The positive goal is often proclaimed, but the negative one: to abstain from strategies of conversion, of propagatioon the Christian faith, is not well-funded and not openly stated. One of the goals of the association has to be that there should be a clear policy, also made clear without any doubt to people outside Christianity that there must be freedom of religion (personal choice for change), but no aggressive or even wel planned stratege to obtain more adherents. The 1966 consultation (after the Makassar riots of October 1966) failed in this sense and there should be a renewed effort to formulate such a policy.

Do Christian theologians have the obligation to know (much) about Islam? Perhaps this is too much as to formal doctrine, but individual meetings, personal contacts must be sought. Although I am very glad with the larger number of specialists in the field of Islamic Studies than in the period 1970-2000, I was then happy to see that many theological schools hired well educated liberal scholars of Islam like Djohan Effendi and Kautsar Azhar at Driyarkara in Jakarta. It can be better to have a Muslim teaching this subject at a Christian theological school. The first issue of discussion and sharing about the members in Kupang was exactly this: how to teach Islam to Christian students of theology?
I hope that ASSAKIA may become an enlightening factor in this whole process in Indonesia.