Dr. Baskara T. Wardaya, S.J.

PUSdEP (Center for History and Political Ethics), Sanata Dharma University

Title and Précis:

Indonesian Catholics and the Struggle for Democracy

     When Indonesia was declared a nation-state following centuries of Dutch and Japanese colonization, it was intended that the new nation would be established as an independent democratic republic. This allowed for religious freedom and Catholic participation which continued until the “1965 Tragedy” which marked the diminishment of Catholic political involvement. This lack of political involvement continues to this day. The goal of this project will be to seek out the reasons for this ebb and flow of Catholic political involvement in Indonesia over the past half-century. How democratic ideals relate to Indonesian Catholicism over time will constitute the bulk of this research. A series of interviews will be conducted with Indonesian Catholic politicians, scholars, educators, and laypersons and statistical information will be coupled with relevant literature in order to synthesize this data.


     Dr. Baskara T. Wardaya, S.J. graduated from the Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat (Institute of Philosophy) "Driyarkara," Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1986. In 1995, he received a Master's degree and in 2001 his Doctoral degree in history from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.  In 2004-2005, he was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to do post-doctoral research in History in the US. From 2003-2009, he was the Director of Sanata Dharma University's Graduate Program.  Currently, Dr. Wardaya teaches courses at Sanata Dharma University such as History, Religion and Politics; Research Methodology; Development of Cultural Studies; Undergraduate Seminar. Dr. Wardaya also teaches at the Graduate School of the Gadjah Mada State University in Yogyakarta and is Director of the PUSdEP (Pusat Sejarah dan Etika Politik / Center for History and Political Ethics).

News and Updates

  • Fr. Wardaya recently presented a research project for The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights on the topic of Indonesia under the Japanese occupation from 1942-1945
  • Fr. Wardaya serves as a consultant for the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Asia-Pacific
  • Additionally, Fr. Wardaya has been working with the Goethe Institute and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (both are German institutions) and the Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington, D.C.) to prepare an international conference on Indonesian history to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in January 2011.
  • PUSdEP (The Center for History and Political Ethics) at Sanata Dharma University, which Fr. Wardaya directs, was one of the 2010 finalists for Argentina's Emilio Mignone International Human Rights Prize.