Testimony of an Academician among Moslem Academicians
By Stanislaus Reksosusilo, C.M.
Province of Indonesia
Since 1977 I have worked mostly in university circles. There are government and private universities in Indonesia. Since the Moslem revival in 1985 Moslems dominate the government universities. It is in private universities that we can cooperate with Moslems.
There are 10 Catholic Universities and many Moslem Universities. It is through my profession as a teacher of philosophy that I have contact with Moslems. I attended seminars held by different institutes on several subjects: Management, Statistics, Culture and Politics. There I met Moslem scholars, who became close friends because of our discussions on those matters, without touching our differences in religion while respecting our professionalism as scholars. In this way the Government comes to acknowledge our position and has confidence in us in conducting educational programs for those private Universities.
1. For the past five years, I have held the function of Coordinator of Public Examinations in philosophical subjects for private universities in the region of Java, South Borneo and Bali.
2. Another activity is conducting seminars on more specific issues of Dialogue between Buddhism - Islam - Christianity. During these meetings Moslem scholars express their belief and their ideas.
3. We let our own students go and visit Moslem universities.
4. The program for our students gives them knowledge of Islam, in such a way that they remain faithful, and yet more open to Islam.
5. At the international level, I am a member of the “Afro-Asian Philosophical Association” since 1985, which has its center in Cairo, Egypt. The aim of this association is to enlighten Moslems and scholars from other faiths and to open their minds to a wider horizon. Our topics are:
Living in a multicultural society
Islam, is it a way of peace, or a way of war?
Reason and religion.
I am becoming more convinced that through this kind of work, without pushing our own religion to the foreground, others will respect us because of our correct behavior and our professionalism. In all my discourses, I stress only philosophical thinking and not the Church's teaching, except when we talk about the Moslem - Christian Dialogue, where I explain the Christian principles.
I am convinced that the way of meeting Moslems is not by debating certain issues of religion, but by being friendly a person and by a high degree of professionalism.
- 1 -