My Research - 'The politics of belief in the unseen world:
materiality, power, agency and identity in the Javanese cosmology
Born and bred among the Javanese in the island of
Java-Indonesia, I find myself becoming part of a society which
regards religious practices so highly. Some people live with their
traditional beliefs. Some others adhere to the new coming
religions, the mainstream religions. Unfortunately, the government
policy on religion has made the former unheard, unconsidered, only
secretly practiced. I am interested to research an aspect of these
Javanese traditional religious practices so call the wong
pinter, a term for the Javanese specialists in spiritualism.
Their roles are many, involved in different areas but their
existence is severely debated. Furthermore, though their phenomenon
is so popular, an academic study on it has not been done. My
research is going to explore their nature and simultaneously aims
at reifying their significance.
Why did you choose this programme at this University?
I found out that York St John University has a distinct
department on Theology in Public Life in which religious Studies is
part of it. Based on this and also the availability of supervisors
who have interests in my research, I decided to choose this
university as the place of my study.
How long have you been studying at YSJ?
I started the programme on 1st of October 2009 so I have been
studying at York St John University for a year.
How did you find combining your 'work & home' life with
Well, I am lucky in this matter since my arrival in this great
country is for a purpose: studying. So I hardly find so much work
at home. The ministry that I do have to do, as I am also a Catholic
priest who is not assisting at English Martyrs Church in
Walworth-London, does not take so much time of my study. I use most
of my time in the Library in the afternoon. Most parochial services
are done in the morning so there is no difficulty thus far.
What did you find most helpful about the programme, resources,
staff, and university?
In my opinion, the programme is very well set up, the staff are
very hand to assist the students. However, my place of stay makes
me use the University library infrequently. This University has a
very good system of supervision.
What is the best things about being a student at YSJ?
What can I say. I find that students have a powerful voice that
helps the whole elements of university improve their
If you have completed the programme has gaining a degree
affected your decision about your career?
I am going to find a job of my dreams: teaching about religious
studies at a University and working for inter-religious
Any other comments about any aspect of your time at YSJ?
I enjoyed so much studying at York St John University though I
live in London. The University gives me a widely open chance to sue
sources from my previous school, SOAS. So I just need to travel to
York once a month unless there are important meetings in between.
The student support team is excellent.