With the spirit to start a place for learning and research focusing on religious studies, based on reflection of Indonesian religious lives, CRCS was established in 2000. Their goal is to ask what each of us can learn from other religious believers that add to our own spiritual insight and heritage, to seek deeper understanding of each other, and to work together for a just and peaceful future. It started with a new graduate program on religious studies, which remains unique: it is the only academic program focusing on religious studies at a non-religiously affiliated university in Indonesia. The vision of the Center is to promote the development of a democratic, multicultural and just society in Indonesia by establishing a center of excellence on religious studies with a good reputation in the region.
Religious and cross-cultural study means studying religion(s) in different cultural contexts. It is an alternative approach of learning other religions and cultures by recognizing the owners’ perspectives. Instead of looking at others as alien and inferior to a human culture, it looks at them as a part of the culture. Religious and Cross-cultural studies explore different systems of beliefs, ideology, and practice of religions in particular cultural contexts. The study employs a critical analysis of the various methods and theories employed by scholars in their attempt to explain and account for religions. The center is concerned with the complexity and diversity of the forms of religion and attempts to understand its position and role in society.