Known as a city of culture and academic accomplishment, the Javanese city of Yogyakarta is a fascinating place to study religion. It is home to several of the most respected public and private universities in Indonesia. In 2006, three of these universities, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), the State Islamic University (Universitas Islam Negeri/UIN) Sunan Kalijaga and Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW), formed the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS). At the core of the Consortium is the regular doctoral program in Inter-Religious Studies (IRS), which is legally located in the Graduate School of UGM and has been accredited “A” by the Indonesian National Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (Badan Akreditasi Nasional Perguruan Tinggi/BAN-PT) since 2016.
Religious studies have become established in academia as a discipline or an academic field of study. While the field of inter-religious studies, understood as focusing on the relations between religions, has grown quickly in the past decade, with textbooks and journals carrying the name starting to appear. Yet, as an academic field of study, both still leave open a wide space of diverse views in terms of their objects, scopes, and methodologies.