Historical and political roles of religion in indonesia

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BEMIDI, Minn. – Dr. Alex Nadesan will explain the historical and current influence of religions on culture in Southeast Asia during a 10 a.m. Academic of Lifelong Learning lecture September 23 in the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation (CRI), located at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North.

Nadesan, a professor emeritus of political science at Bemidji State, will focus on his native country, Indonesia, during the 90-minute program, which is open to the public at no charge.

The presentation will examine the introduction, growth and eventual fall of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in Indonesia as well as the rise of Islam on the island country. He will describe the historical remnants of various fallen empires in Indonesia, the influences of the cultures of India, the coming of Islam, colonialism, and the co-mingling of religions.

He will also explain how the diversity created conflict and prevented unity for the population.

“The public will gain a deeper understanding through the historical knowledge of events and people,” Nadesan explained. “The differences of practicing Islam in Southeast Asia and Middle East are important because of the current interpretations in the West on the compatibility of democracy and Islam.”

Nadesan received a certificate of law from Islamic University of North Sumatra in Indonesia before earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gustavus Adolphus College, a master’s in political science from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate in international relations and organizations from American University.

After serving two years in the U.S. State Department, he joined the Bemidji State political science faculty in 1965. During his tenure at BSU, he taught extensively overseas with assignments in Indonesia, Malaysia, China, and Japan. He retired and received emeritus status in 1999.

The presentation is part of a Tuesday morning lecture series sponsored by the Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) and coordinated by the CRI. The ALL offers humanities-based programs that are made possible in part with private donations and BSU support.

Formed in 1997, the Center for Research and Innovation is an off-campus facility operated by Bemidji State University to assist businesses, organizations and individuals in gaining new knowledge, achieving applied experience, and improving successes. The CRI annually serves more than 2500 individuals and 400 businesses by providing corporate and custom training, delivering non-credit online learning, creating multimedia solutions, offering strategic organizational development, and coordinating regular informational programs in such areas as natural resources and work safety.

Individuals who wish to be added to the ALL mailing list or have questions about this program should contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; toll free, (888) 738-3224; email, cri@bemidjistate.edu; or at the Web site www.cri-bsu.org.

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