Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Series: Dicky Sofjan, “Muslim Cosmopolitanism: A Personal History”
Date & Time: Monday, February 20 at 7 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Music Center, Rieth Recital Hall
Cost: Free and open to the public
Dicky Sofjan, a professor from the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies at Gadjah Mada University, will present the 2023 Yoder Public Affairs Lecture, “Muslim Cosmopolitanism: A Personal History” on Monday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Goshen College Music Center’s Rieth Recital Hall. This event is free and open to the public.
Sofjan will also be giving a campus lecture on “Muslim-Christian Relations in the Global South” on Monday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Church-Chapel’s Koinonia Room.
Sofjan’s Yoder Public Affairs Lecture will take the audience through his personal journey, and his reflection on what it means to be a “Muslim Cosmopolitan.” Like many Indonesians, Dicky’s early exposure to Islam was through informal religious training and private tutoring by successive teachers, who would visit their home and teach him and his siblings the Quran and the way of life in Islam. His time in Tehran also taught him that Islam is not a monolithic religion and that there are many versions, expressions and interpretations. As he grew older and ventured out to study, work, conduct research and experience foreign cultures, he became increasingly convinced of the veracity and inevitability of Cosmopolitanism in today’s globalized, multicultural world. Therefore, Dicky questions why tribalism has made its way back into the world with a vengeance. The goal of his work has been to build understanding and peace across religious boundaries.
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sofjan grew up as a son of a diplomat, who happened to be a linguist and was known previously in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “the English teacher”. Following his father’s diplomatic postings, Dicky first went to school in Sydney, Australia, and then continued in London, the United Kingdom. He also spent some time in Tehran with his parents, while they were posted there for six years during the end of Khomeini’s revolutionary era and the start of Khamenei’s tenure as the Supreme Spiritual Leader of Iran.
Sofjan is a core doctoral faculty member in the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), an international, interdisciplinary, and inter-religious Ph.D. program at the Graduate School of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta. Sofjan is the principal investigator of a nine-country collaborative research program on religion, public policy, and social transformation in Southeast Asia, sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation. His research has mostly been focused on the nexus between religion and politics with an emphasis on Islam in the public sphere.
The Frank and Betty Jo Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Series is an endowed lectureship that was created for Goshen College in 1978 by Frank (1917-1996) and Betty Jo Yoder of Goshen. The goal of the series is to enable faculty, students and community to hear well-known speakers address current issues.