Mar 23, 2018
Dr. Matthew Kosuta, the director of Ph.D. program at College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University taught an interesting seminar on “World” Religions Come to Southeast Asia” at CCS on the afternoon of 22 March.
Dr. Mathew vividly described from where and when the world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian, and Islam started to enter the mainland Southeast Asia and coastal Southeast Asia, and their encounters with the local briefs, mainly animism and one another in this religion.
In terms of the local conversion to these “invading” world religions, Dr. Matthew argued the reasons for the locals to convert to were mainly because of: 1. faith with the God (or Buddha) and the religion; 2. association with the wealth and influence (no matter the rich Muslim traders or the Buddhist monks under the royal patron); 3. gain of powerful military sources to fight with the rivalries, particularly for those local-based Rajas who had been fighting with one another for dominance; 4. opportunity to be mercenaries for money-making yet under the command of God; and so on.
The audience was impressed by Dr. Mathew’s deep understanding of the religious dynamics across this whole region, while he never considered on the sociopolitical and culture-economic contexts less to give out his viewpoints.