About Me
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About Me

Welcome to my page. I am Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology. In geographic focus, my research area of interest and concentration is Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, and the Arab Middle East, particularly the Gulf. However, I am also interested in the research and study of religious and Muslim societies, cultures, traditions, and politics—past and present—outside these regions. In theoretical approaches, historical, political, socio-cultural, and religious anthropology, as well as conflict and peace studies interest me greatly. My academic trainings, furthermore, revolved around the studies of Islam and Muslim societies as well as conflict and peace from the perspectives of multiple disciplines: anthropology, sociology, Islamic studies, among others.

Prior to joining KFUPM, I taught at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) and Boston University (Massachusetts), where I received my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, particularly political and religious anthropology with an emphasis in the studies of Muslim cultures and societies. During my doctoral studies, I took multiple courses on issues around Muslim cultures and politics across the globe—Arab and the Middle East, Indo-Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, among others—with notable specialists in the fields. My doctoral thesis focused on the study of the complex, ambiguous role of religious discourses, organizations, actors, and networks—within Islam and Christianity—in both communal violence and interreligious peace in the Christian-Muslim conflict zones of the Moluccas in eastern Indonesia. It also examined the contributions of state and non-state actors, including civil society, religious, and women groupings, in the post-violence reconciliation and peacebuilding. The dissertation research won grants from the National Science Foundation in the United States and Boston University’s Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship. A revised and expanded version of this dissertation, Religious Violence and Conciliation in Indonesia, was published by Routledge.

Before completing my PhD at Boston University, I obtained an MA in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Virginia, United States, where I conducted a research on the contributions of American Muslim, Christian, and Jewish scholars on interreligious dialogue and global peace. I also hold a Master’s degree in Sociology of Religion from the Satya Wacana Christian University (Indonesia), where I wrote a thesis on the role of Chinese Muslims in the spread of Islam in Indonesia. My B.A. was in Islamic Law from Indonesia’s State Institute for Islamic Studies (now State Islamic University).

I have authored, co-authored, and edited more than 25 books, dozens of journal articles, and hundreds of popular essays, both in English and in Indonesian language. My recent book from I.B. Tauris & Bloomsbury entitled Saudi Arabia and Indonesian Networks: Migration, Education and Islam. Moreover, my scholarly articles and reviews appeared and forthcoming in various academic journals including Asian Journal of Social Science, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Asian Perspective, Journal of Islamic Studies, International Journal on World Peace, International Journal of Asian Studies, International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Peace Research: the Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Pacific Affairs, Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, Journal of Indonesian Islam, Studia Islamika, Borneo Journal of Religious Studies, and Al-Jami’ah Journal of Islamic Studies, to name a few.


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