Centre of Asian Studies (CENAS) is an independent association that aims to deepen the understanding of multiculturalism, democracy and human rights in Asia. CENAS was established in October 2005, in responds to wrecked humanitarian issues such as toleration, respectfulness, and fraternity in Indonesia. At that time, public opinion in Indonesia and Asia was also dominated by the disputable relationship between the West and Islam and between the West and the East.
To attain that vision, Cenas considerably designed to work much in three different sectors, i.e. research, publication, and advocacy. These sectors are the most suited with the Cenas vision above.
Since its beginning, Cenas has been actively engaged with multiculturalism issue that can be outlined as follow. In June 2006, CENAS was invited to be a participant in the Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue held at Rajabhat University which held by International Network of Engage Buddhism (INEB), Bangkok. In 2007, some seminars (either informal or formal) were held by CENAS with remarks of some scholars. Among them are Herman S. Endro (a prominent Buddhist figure in Indonesia), Dr. Hisanori Kato (Osaka Ohtani, Japan), Paul Forster (Ph.D candidate from University of Sussex), etc.
In February 2008, CENAS published its first working paper by Dr. Hisanori Kato, with the title “Verity or Illusion?; Interfaith Dialogues between Christians and Muslims in the Philippines” which was launched with public seminar in collaboration with Centre for Dialogue among Civilization and Culture (CDCC), Jakarta, March 2008. Then, in June 2008, CENAS research on Buddhist-Muslim relation began which was initially conducted by own funded. Latterly, we received grant from Hivos to cover the rest of the research areas.
In January 2011, the research result has just been published with the title, Berpeluh Berselaras; Buddhis-Muslim Meniti Harmoni or Aspiring in Building Harmony; Buddhist and Muslim Seek Harmony. The book launching event was denoted by public lecture which was presented by Dr. Imtiyaz Yusuf (Assumption University, Bangkok).
In the year 2012 we have held a Buddhist-Muslim Youth Camp in May which took place in Yogyakarta. This program is organized by collaborating with the Fetzer Institute (USA), the Museum of World Religion (MWR) and the Global Family for Love and Peace (both from Taiwan). We organized the youth camp participants to visit the Borobudur temple and learn much about the meaning of the Borobudur temple and its massages.
In July 2012, we hosted a Buddhist-Muslim National Conference that invited some scholars from abroad that took place in Jakarta. This program is still organized by collaborating with the Fetzer Institute (USA), the Museum of World Religion (MWR) and the Global Family for Love and Peace (both from Taiwan).
For the legal entity purpose, CENAS was registered as independent association (perkumpulan) under the notary Arsin Effendy No. 13 dated 27 May 2009.
List of CENAS members (per April 2013):
Board of Advisors/Honorary Members:
Prof. Imtiyaz Yusuf; Prof. Hisanori Kato; Prof. Ikhsan Tanggok, Prof. Lasiyo, Maria Reis Habito, Ph.D; Prof. Suwanna Satha-Anand; Prof. Azizan Bt Baharuddin; Ven. Jayamedho; Ahmad Suaedy, M.A.; Jo Priastana, M.A.
Zaenal Abidin Eko Putro, M.A. (Chairperson); Luthfi Khoiri Rosyida (Secretary); M. Azis Muslim, M.A. (Program Director for Research); M. Subhi Azhari (Program Director for Advocacy); Ema Mukarromah (Program Director for Education & Training); M. Zainal Fanani; Edie Ramawijaya Putra, M.A.; Kustiani, Ph.D; Jaya Dani Mulyanto; Irsyad Zamjani, M.A.; Agustinus Sudarmanto.