Religion is the sacred relationship between human-being and
the transcendent concept of Gidhead. But as a social and
cultural phenomenon, religion is the strongest factor that
determines the form and the strength of social integration and
cohesion. In a plural society religion can become a barrier to
an undifferentiated social cohesion.
Looking religion as the sacred foundation of social
relationship from historical perspective it may appear in four
different faces, though by means exclusive to each others.
Understanding on the teaching of the adhered can be the
important source of social dynamics -- it is the basis of a
certain form of social change. Secondly, despite the fact that
science has consistently opened up the secrets and even the
laws of nature, it cannot replace the role of religion as the
source of the ultimate answer to the questions of the “real”
reality. Third, religious pluralities and more importantly the
differences in the understanding of the “true teachings” of the
commonly adhered religion may become a source of internal
conflict, although at the same it strengthens the internal
cohesion of the believers of the same religious orientation.
Four, in the conflict situation, the understanding of one’s
religion can easily become a non-negotiable stand in the
relation with the others.
Despite its noble idea, the New Order -sponsored “three
strategies of harmonious life”-- the Pancasila, “the three
harmonious religious lives” (among co-religionists, among
the followers of different religions, and between religious
followers and the government) and “three brotherhood or
uchuwah (Islamic, national, and intentional brotherhood) --
lost its credibility the moment the state undergone the crisis of
legitimacy. The religion-based social cohesion can only be guaranted by a healthy democratric life and the continuing
effort to strengthen the tradition of the spirit of tolerance.
Keywords: Agama, kohesi sosial, Durkheim, Max Weber,
struktural-fungsional, fenomenologi, “tiga strategi
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