This dissertation is entitled: Kierkegaard’s Ideas on Religion: Its Contribution for Inter-religious Dialogue and Peaceful Life of Religious Faithful in Indonesia. The dissertation is aimed: 1) to discover the so-called essence of religion according to Soren Kierkegaard; and 2) to analyze Kikegaard’s ideas on the essence of religion and its contribution to develop a genuine understanding of religion and a mutual inter-religious dialogue for peaceful life. Kierkegaard’s ideas on religion are basically viewed as important matters since they could be used as a strong base to develop a truthful understanding of religion and religious practices in Indonesia. The ideas expected to increase particular awareness among religious faithful that religious truthfulness as claimed by any religious faithful is subjective and paradox matter indeed. Such view should be widely accepted and respected in Indonesian context.
The dissertation was written based on the comprehensive literature research on Kierkegaard’s ideas on the essence of religion. The research expected to give a meaningful contribution for social-religious practices in Indonesia. In other words, the study was conducted as an effort to improve and maintain a harmony and peaceful life among Indonesian faithful based on the mutual and truthful understanding of each religion. The methods applied in writing the dissertation including: content analysis, interpretation, hermeneutics, description, historical analysis, abstraction, heuristic, and language analyses.
The study had so far indicated the following results. Firstly, Kierkegaard strongly argues that the essence of religion is basically connected very much to one’s religious belief. Therefore, the essence of religion according to Kierkegaard is a very paradox and subjective mater. Consequently, the truthfulness of religion as far as claimed by any religious adherent is a very subjective and paradox mater. Secondly, Kierkegaard’s ideas on religion as a subjective and paradox matter have basically two important contributions for Indonesian society. 1) His ideas can be applied in Indonesia in order to improve Indonesian perception on the essence of religion as a subjective and paradox thing. Such perception is expected to effectively neutralize one’s claim on absolute religious truthfulness in Indonesian context. 2) The idea can also be used to develop an effective inter-religious dialogue and peaceful life among Indonesian faithful. However, these contributions can be worked in Indonesia as far as supported by the following conditions: a) there must be any concrete effort taking to promote Kierkegaard’s ideas about the essence of religion as a subjective and paradox matter in Indonesia; b) there should be any effort to encourage any religious faithful in Indonesia to accept and respect the essence of religion as a subjective and paradox matter in daily level; c) the agents of inter-religious dialogues in Indonesia need to have a clear concept and theoretical background regarding the essence of religion as a subjective and paradox matter; d) there should be any effort to continuously promoting inter-religious dialogue in Indonesia as an integral part of daily life; e) the content and process of formal religious education at any level in Indonesia are strongly suggested to help any student to have a clear and comprehensive understanding about religion as a subjective and paradox matter; and f) there must be continuous attempt of each religious community in Indonesian to reflect and evaluate so-called religion as a subjective and paradox matter. The absence of both reflection and evaluation may lead to religious fanaticism and radicalism.