Indonesia Research Update #13: A reconciling communion in the light of the Indonesian massacre 1965/66 by Elia Maggang


The massacre of Indonesians at 1965/66 remains an issue that continues to boggle the mind of the nation’s leaders and activists alike.

Elia Maggang, a graduate of Theological Studies Master degree at Flinders University, completed a thesis investigating on the issue of the 1965/66 Massacre and Indonesian community. His thesis argues that the doctrine of the Trinity is the key of Christian faith to encourage the Christian church in Indonesia to be a reconciling communion in the light of the Indonesian Massacre of 1965/66

The discussion is divided into three chapters. The first examines how a doctrine of Christian faith, particularly the doctrine of the Trinity, can lead to Christians’ practices in their daily lives. This discussion has its basis on the thought of Catherine M. LaCugna in her book God For Us, arguing that human beings can only know God (theologia) if God reveals God’s self through God’s actions (oikonomia). From the oikonomia, human beings know that God also invites them to participate in God’s actions, certainly, in a creaturely way.

Based on that pattern, the second chapter discusses the reconciling action of the Triune God that makes God known as the relational God. This chapter insists that reconciliation is the work of the Triune God – the Father initiates the reconciliation, the Son executes it, and the Spirit activates it.

The last chapter examines how the knowledge of the Triune God, as the reconciling God, has impact in Christian church fellowship (experience) where its members are in broken relationship as an impact of the Indonesian Massacre of 1965/66. That God is the reconciling God as God is the relational God. The relational God that reconciles human beings to God invites all Christians (victims and perpetrators) to participate in the reconciling work of God. This is by coming reconciliation and living in loving relationship with their neighbours.

As spiritual aspect has remained a vital aspect of how Indonesians lives their life, Elia’s work is expected to shed the light regarding the relations of Christian’s doctrine and community behaviour change.

More information could be accessed by contacting Elia in


Elia Maggang has a master degree in Theological Studies from Flinders University.

He was active in PPIA Flinders University and currently act as team member of Theology Development Unit at The Protestant Evangelical Church in Timor Synod.

Recently granted a PhD scholarship by the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), he expect to start his doctoral degree anytime soon.


Indonesia Research Update is an initiative by GoLive Indonesia that aims to promote and disseminate knowledge and information obtained through research completed by Indonesian students outside of Indonesia.

We sincerely thank Elia and wish the best for his future endeavours in career and life.


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